Coronavirus message sent on February 24, 2020

Message sent to all Notre Dame students, faculty, and staff on February 24, 2020, at the Rome Global Gateway.

We are following the directives of the local and national Italian government on how to proceed. Additional updates will follow as new information is published by health authorities.

Dear students,

The U.S. Embassy continues to monitor the health situation in Italy and recommends that individuals follow Italian health official guidance and avoid government-designated affected areas. Officials count over 150 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Italy, the majority of which are in the Province of Lodi in the south of the Lombardy region. Two cases have been confirmed in Milan, and one each in Bergamo, Monza, and Turin. Cases have also been reported in the areas of Brescia, Cremona, and Pavia. Lombardy regional officials have cancelled schools for the week. City, regional and national officials continue to meet and assess the situation as more information becomes known. (Source: US Embassies and Consulates in Italy Health Alert: February 23, 2020).

Please be advised that further travel restrictions and disruptions are possible in the near term and may be implemented with little warning.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified Italy as Watch: Level 1, advising travelers to practice usual precautions.

If you are currently experiencing no symptoms:

  • Avoid unnecessary travels and large gatherings of people to limit potential exposure to infected individuals.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty. It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

If you currently have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing:

  • Promptly call one of the Gateway’s Doctors On-call to set up an appointment. At this time, local authorities advise against going to an emergency room for these specific symptoms; instead, citizens are advised to seek medical attention through their doctor.
  • Minimize contact with others. To this end, promptly notify Antonella Piccinin so that she may provide you with a medical mask to be worn at all times and make alternative arrangements for your meals to be consumed outside of common spaces.
  • Avoid traveling.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands often.

An information session with our doctor on call, Dr. Andrea Guerriero, will be held tomorrow, February 25th, at 1:00pm in Walsh 103. All staff, faculty and students are encouraged to attend and bring any questions or concerns they may have.

Should you have any questions in the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to Mallory Nardin ( or Antonella Piccinin (

For updates by Italy’s Civil Protection Agency, please visit:

Please share this message with your emergency contacts for their awareness.