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U-Mary closing Rome campus because of COVID-19

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University of Mary
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Bismarck’s University of Mary has decided to temporarily close its Rome campus, and bring the students back to the US.

The Dean of U-Mary’s School of Arts and Sciences, Dr. David Tamisea said the University has been keeping tabs on the situation with COVID-19, the new Coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control has now issued a “Level 3 Travel Warning” for Italy, and a “Do Not Travel” advisory for some areas of northern Italy.

"Once it became clear to us that there may be a risk to our students, the possibility of being exposed to the virus, but also the possibility the students would not be able to return, we made a decision that it would be best to close the program and give our students an opportunity to return home," Tamisea said.

Tamisea said the students will return to their homes, to stay with family for a period of two weeks, so that they can be screened for the virus. But he said the University wants to make a difficult situation into something positive, so the students will have a chance to spend the last five weeks of the semester at its Arizona campus, which is right next to Arizona State University.

"It's a beautiful campus," Tamisea said. "We have a beautiful library, we have classroom space, and we have some of our students from the main campus down there right now."

Tamisea said there are other kinds of opportunities there for students.

"We have hikes planned in the Grand Canyon," Tamisea said. "There are cultural activities available in Phoenix."

Tamisea said the University is trying to turn it into something positive for the Rome students. He said it's the student's choice whether or not to go to the Arizona campus.

There are 25 students at the Rome campus.

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