Travelers wear a protective mask against the coronavirus at the Santa Maria Novella railway station in Florence, Italy, on February 24, 2020.

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Universities have begun taking the precautionary step of canceling their study abroad programs in Italy as the country grapples with the worst coronavirus outbreak outside Asia.

Syracuse University, Fairfield University, and Elon University have indefinitely suspended their academic programs in Florence and are helping students return home.

New York University has set a tentative start date of March 29 for their program, pending health updates in Italy.

Florida State University said its Florence Study Center is not offering classes for the remainder of the week, but its residences in the city are open for students planning to stay in Italy over spring break.

COVID-19 has infected

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