The email update below has been sent to the WFU/Venice: Casa Artom students and families

Dear WFU/Venice: Casa Artom Students and Parents/Families,

As communicated yesterday, Wake Forest continues to closely monitor developments of the recent Coronavirus/COVID-19 cases in Italy, and the Italian government’s efforts in preventing the spread of infections. In addition to the previously reported cases of COVID-19 in the Lombardy and Veneto regions, we are aware of newly confirmed cases in other regions of Italy (i.e. Tuscany, Emilia Romagna, Piedmont, and Lazio). Similarly, we are following information provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) whose teams arrived in Italy on Monday, February 24.

Compared to other universities offering programs within Italy (e.g., Syracuse and NYU in Florence), we are in a more fortunate position to have our program contained to a single location (as opposed to living and commuting across a city), thus minimizing the potential for our program participants to contract the virus. With this in mind, we have made the decision to continue academic instruction with some alteration until March 8, 2020. During this period, the WFU resident professor (Page West) will continue to deliver his courses as regularly scheduled. However, the local Venetian faculty will provide alternative/on-line delivery for their courses.  We will continue to evaluate this decision as circumstances change, and will notify you of any modifications to this plan.

One of the challenges associated with the coronavirus situation is that things can change very rapidly; the recommendations in place today might change tomorrow if the virus spreads and as new information is gained. Given the evolving and increasing travel restrictions being implemented across Italy and Europe, and in an effort to avoid the risk of being exposed to or exposing others to the virus, we are taking heightened measures at Casa Artom. Effective immediately, any student who travels outside of Venice (and is not subsequently prohibited from returning to Venice by authorities) must self-isolate to monitor for symptoms (as directed by WFU health officials) upon their return to Venice. This self-isolation must be for two weeks in accommodations other than Casa Artom (at personal expense) before the student can resume residency at the house. This measure is intended to protect our students, faculty, and staff who are restricting themselves to Venice and Casa Artom.  Accordingly, we continue to strongly advise students to postpone their travels outside of Venice over the coming weeks and remain at Casa Artom.

For families and students who are concerned about continuing with the program, we are currently exploring options for students to return to the US and continue their studies via alternative delivery methods. We will keep you posted on our deliberations.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know.

David F. Taylor
Assistant Dean for Global Study Away