Rowan University student studying in Italy forced to return due to coronavirus fears

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Colleges around New Jersey have suspended some study abroad programs amid a global outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19.

Rowan University students who were studying abroad in Italy have already returned to New Jersey following an outbreak in that country of the virus. One of those students is junior Caroline Snyder, an art education major studying in Florence.

“I was smack in the middle and I could see the Duomo outside my window. It was kind of unreal,” she says.

GET INFORMATION: Coronavirus details from the CDC

Snyder says that her family began to grow concerned as news of the outbreak spread.

“It took my parents a few days to make the decision of me coming home or not,” she says. “But on Saturday, it was like, ‘You got to come home, Caroline.’"

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Snyder was one of six students to return home from Italy out of the seven Rowan students who were there.

“I was definitely fearful being surrounded by large crowds, especially because I’m touring the area,” she says. “There were people that had masks and some people chose not to wear masks. I was one of the people that didn’t, but if I was able to find a mask, maybe I would have.”

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Snyder, a Livingston resident, says that she hopes to go back to Rowan for the rest of the semester. The university says that it is helping to place students in online classes.

“I was taking batik, which meant that you paint silk scarves. I was taking art history where you would go to museums and have the teacher talk about the paintings in person. So, I think it will be difficult to take it online,” Snyder says.

Rowan University says because these students are not in a Rowan program abroad, they are not required to come home. But the university is working with those students to make sure they don't lose the credits they were taking this semester.

Will A Mask Really Protect You From Coronavirus? - Cheddar Explains

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness with symptoms similar to the common cold. It can be deadly - mostly to people who are elderly or in poor health.

New Jersey has set up a coronavirus hotline for concerned residents. The number for that hotline is 1-800-222-1222.

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