Twelve Morningside College students and a faculty member will return to Sioux City from Sicily next week.
Morningside’s Alden Stout says there’s no evidence any of the students have symptoms of the virus.
“The students will be — just like all passengers as we understand who leave Italy — are going to have a screening and when they enter the United States, they’ll be screened by United States Customs,” Alden says. “So they’ll follow that protocol as well.”
The college decided to recall the students after the U.S. State Department issued an advisory urging people to reconsider traveling to Italy. Stout says the school reacted to the travel advisory, quote, “out of an abundance of concern.”
“We do value safety really highly of our students,” Alden says. “If there’s something we’re going to prioritize, we’re going to prioritize their safety.”
The students will finish their coursework online.
The respiratory illness has rapidly spread through Italy, killing more than 50 people. There are confirmed cases in more than 60 countries.
State health officials say there are no confirmed cases in Iowa, although five people in Iowa are being monitored for the virus, while two others are being tested for COVID-19.
(Reporting by Katie Peikes, Iowa Public Radio)