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Tulane trip to Italy canceled as coronavirus spreads

A class of Tulane students heading to Italy had their trip canceled as a precaution.

NEW ORLEANS — The coronavirus is changing travel plans for people and causing local schools to take precautions.

City leaders tell WWL-TV that Mayor LaToya Cantrell plans to meet with New Orleans Public Schools and public health leaders to develop a plan if any coronavirus issues arise in New Orleans.

That meeting is not open to the public or press.

Meanwhile, Tulane is already taking precautions when it comes to student travel. Students getting a masters in business were supposed to board an international flight for Italy this Spring, but the outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus changed those plans.

This semester, a class of nearly three dozen MBA students are working with Italian companies developing business and marketing models.

“It just definitely opens up your mind to looking at problems and tackling them from a different point of view,” Patton Killeen said.

Easter week, they were set to give marketing and social media strategy presentations in person in Bologna, Italy. However, with the coronavirus outbreak in Italy, the dean said it was too risky. They’re disappointed, but they understand.

“I would be more nervous about being quarantined for two weeks,” Liz Hebert, an MBA student at Tulane, said.

For now, the personal experience, living the culture and sampling the company’s products are off. They’ll continue the business project via the web.

“I’m sure that we will get to go to Italy and meet these people one day,” Hebert said. “Maybe not for school, but certainly these connections will outlast this virus.”

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New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport said they are coordinating with the New Orleans Health Department and the Louisiana Department of Health to monitor the 2019 Novel Coronavirus across the world.

“At this time, since we do not have direct service to or from China, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in conjunction with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are providing screening and briefings to travelers from China at their initial domestic ports of entry,” the statement said. “No further screening measures are taking place at MSY.  As we continue to closely collaborate with health officials and monitor the situation for changes, those traveling to or from the impacted areas are advised to pay attention to the directives of the CDC and take any necessary precautions as directed.”

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