At the Umbra Institute, we are dedicated to ensuring the health & safety of all of our students. We are currently monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Italy with the relevant authorities and have been in contact with our students as well as with partners with students currently in Italy.
Currently, no cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the region of Umbria. Italian authorities have been extremely proactive in addressing the discovery of the virus hours to the North of Perugia. Further information about the virus can be monitored on the COVID-19 website.
The Umbra Institute is in regular contact with the local Department of Health (Ministero della Salute), the American Association of Colleges and Schools in Italy (AACUPI) and the US Embassy and will follow all policies, procedures, and directives advised in response to this situation.
Umbra’s response to COVID-19
The Umbra Institute has taken the following preventative measures:
- Current governmental advice is that it is considered safe for schools and universities in Umbria to remain open. However, all Umbra Institute courses are canceled for Monday, February 24th, as a precautionary measure while we await how the Italian Health authorities decide to proceed. They are scheduled to meet today to evaluate the situation in the North and the level of risk for the rest of the country.
Italian Universities in Perugia are still open as of the publication of this article but students who had traveled North were asked to stay home from class.
- The Umbra Institute has canceled all field trips and workshops that were scheduled to take place this week. Again, this is precautionary and we will try to find alternative dates for all of those activities.
- We have required all of our students and Faculty/Staff members with symptoms of cold or flu to notify our Health & Safety Coordinator immediately and then, if so advised, to stay home until they are symptom-free
- The Umbra Institute is in regular communication with students to communicate the following:
- That we understand the unknowns of this situation can cause stress and anxiety. Umbra’s counseling services are available and students are encouraged to reach out.
- Students are being asked not to travel to Northern Italy, in particular to Lombardia (Milan) and Veneto (Venice) to avoid possible exposure and avoid being quarantined within an impacted region. The impacted regions include:
Region of Lombardy: Codogno and surrounding towns of Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo, and San Fiorano;
Region of Veneto: Vo’Euganeo.
Currently, individuals are not permitted to enter or exit the towns specified above.
- The Umbra Institute has made hand sanitizer and similar cleaning products available within the Institute. We encourage students to utilize safe hygiene practices, as one would in the height of flu season: wash their hands, don’t share glasses, forks, bottles, or cosmetics, cover coughs and sneezes with the elbow. We emphasize sleep, nutrition, and physical activities to maintain a healthy immune system.
What should you do if you think you may be ill?
- Contact Umbra’s emergency phone to communicate your symptoms with Umbra staff. We will help you coordinate your care with local medical professionals and provide support as you need it.
- Continue to use safe hygiene practices and eat well to boost your immune system and safeguard yourself through recovery.
If you did not sign up for the US State Department’s STEP Program prior to arriving in Perugia, we encourage you to do so now in order to receive some of the same updates that Umbra is receiving on a regular basis.
Students are asked to monitor their emails and the Umbra App regularly to stay in the loop with notifications from Umbra staff.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us directly at [email protected].
Additional Precautions from the World Health Organization (WHO)
In February 2020, The World Health Organization (WHO), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS) have published 10 basic protective measures against the new coronavirus:
- Wash your hands regularly and frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty.
- Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue
- Do not take antibiotics or antiviral drugs, unless prescribed by a doctor.
- Clean your apartment with alcohol or chlorine-based disinfectants.
- Wear a mask only if you think you may be ill. If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
- Made in China products and packages from China are not dangerous.
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.
- There is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus
This document is constantly updated – Last update: February 28, 2020, 9:30 am (CET)