Temple, Villanova urging study-abroad students to self-isolate for 14 days

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Health officials in Washington state said Sunday night that a second person had died from the coronavirus - a man in his 70s from a nursing facility near Seattle where dozens of people were sick and had been tested for the virus.

Researchers said earlier the virus may have been circulating for weeks undetected in Washington state.

In a statement, Public Health-Seattle & King County said the man died Saturday. On Friday, health officials said a man in his 50s died of coronavirus. Both had underlying health conditions, and both were being treated at a hospital in Kirkland, Washington, east of Seattle.

Washington state now has 12 confirmed cases.

Back here at home, college and universities are taking precuations.

Temple University student Emma Stevens has been studying abroad in Rome since the start of the year. But her educational experience is now being cut short amid growing fears over the spreading coronavirus.

"Right now they are telling us to pack our things up and to leave Italy right away," Stevens said.

Temple joins the growing list of college and universities shutting down the study abroad programs due to the coronavirus.

RELATED: What is coronavirus? What US health officials know about outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China

Drexel University and Villanova also announcing their plans to bring students back home.

Temple University and Villanova University are recommending students coming to the United States to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to campus.

Temple University sophomore Aidan Cunningham is finalizing plans to leave the country at the request of the university.

"I'm more of scared of being able to get back into the United States," said Cunningham.

"Students should avoid Main Campus and you should self-monitor your health and stay at home for 14 days. If you are planning to take advantage of Main Campus housing, you will need to self-isolate at home before moving into your assigned Temple residence hall," said the university in a letter to students.

As the fallout continued, Vice President Mike Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar sought to reassure the American public that the federal government is working to make sure state and local authorities are able to test for the virus. Both said during a round of TV talk show appearances Sunday that thousands more testing kits had been distributed to state and local officials, with thousands more to come.

"They should know we have the best public health system in the world looking out for them," Azar said, adding that additional cases will be reported and the overall risk to Americans is low.

As the cases ticked up, some Americans stocked up on basic supplies - particularly in areas with diagnosed cases - and began to take note of the impact on daily life. Stores such as Costco sold out of toilet paper, bottled water and hand sanitizer outside Portland, Oregon, where a case was announced Friday. Sports games and practices were canceled into the coming school week. Some churches said they would not offer communion because of fears of viral spread.

No confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been reported in the Delaware Valley.


  • Villanova's coronavirus health updates

  • Temple's coronavirus health updates

  • Drexel's coronavirus health updates

  • -- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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