Coronavirus fears are crippling Spring Break plans as universities across the country cancel study abroad programs and Florida officials say they're treating the global outbreak as a 'hurricane threat' ahead of an influx of visitors this month.
Schools including Syracuse, Florida International University and New York University have cancelled study abroad programs in Asia as well as northern Italy amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Some schools who have cancelled programs and called back students include Elon, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield University, the University of Georgia, Villanova, Gonzaga, University of Colorado Boulder, New York University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Auburn University and the University of Tennessee.
Several schools are also encouraging students who are traveling for spring break in general to take extra safety precautions.
All the while Florida is bracing for an the wave of annual Spring Break revelers to touch down in the sunshine state.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez is treating the virus as a potential emergency.
'I liken this to a hurricane threat,' Gimenez said said at a press conference Thursday.
Coronavirus fears have led universities across the country cancel study abroad programs in Asia and northern Italy. Young travelers pictured wearing protective masks against the coronavirus at a railway station in Florence, Italy
Schools including Syracuse, Florida International University and New York University have cancelled study abroad programs in Asia as well as northern Italy. A tourist pictured with a protective mask in Florence on Tuesday
As of Sunday afternoon there were 73 cases of coronavirus reported in the US. So far there have been no cases reported in Florida
As of Sunday afternoon there are 87,690 global cases and 2,994 deaths due to coronavirus
The coronavirus, which started in Wuhan, China and has since led to 87,690 global cases and 2,994 deaths, and has 73 confirmed cases in the US as of Sunday afternoon.
As of Sunday the coronavirus is yet to be confirmed in Florida but 173 people are under public health monitoring for the virus that started in China and has since criss-crossed across the globe.
So far in Florida 15 people have tested negative for COVID-19 and five results are pending, according to the Miami Herald.
Giminez is urging the public and residents to follow basic flu-season protocols including frequently washing hands, using hand sanitizer and not reporting to work if ill.
'We want to remind people to wash their hands regularly. Use hand sanitizer. Cover their face with an arm,' Gimenez said in regard to public sneezing and coughing. 'A nod is better than a handshake or a kiss.'
Gimenez said he has met with a strong of county and government entities including the school system, PortMiami and the Miami International Airport to assess how the city will respond to the fast-spreading disease in light of spring break travel.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said he is treating the coronavirus outbreak like a 'hurricane threat' in Miami as Florida braces for an influx of Spring Break travelers this month
He shared this tweet Friday reiterating that Florida has no confirmed cases of the virus
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez says Florida will amp of safety measures as thousands will flock to the state for Spring Break festivities. Spring breakers pictured on Miami Beach, Florida last year
'We haven’t come up with any specific recommendations yet. Those are things we’re going to be discussing in the next week. Are there any precautions, is there anything different, we’re going to do with spring break or with Ultra,' Gimenez said Thursday. Spring breakers in South Beach, Miami pictured last year
Giminez said officials are concerned over how coronavirus may effect large events including Miami's Ultra fest which begins March 20 and the county Youth Fair in the Kendall area, which starts March 12.