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Coronavirus prep: DC Public Schools suspend all international travel

All school-sponsored international travel events will be canceled from now until May 1.

WASHINGTON — All D.C. public schools will cancel school-sponsored international travel events in preparation for the coronavirus, school officials announced Wednesday.

Schools that have any international travel plans or sponsored international events from now until May 1 will be canceled. Trips after May 1 are still being evaluated, with plans pending depending on the impact of the virus.

The cancelations come "out of an abundance of caution" for faculty and students and from continued guidance from the CDC, an announcement from the school district read. 

Individual school principals throughout the District are working to reorganize travel logistics and are talking to tour operators for next steps for trips that have already been booked, DCPS officials said.  

To check on the status of your child's school closings and cancelations in D.C., parents are encouraged to contact their school principal and to check out the latest information from D.C. Department of Health.

Schools across the DMV began preparing for the virus's impact early, with school districts sending letters home to parents and taking precaution weeks ago. Fairfax County Public Schools canceled international field trips based on CDC guidelines last week.

"While the full impact of an outbreak cannot be predicted, planning for operations under such conditions can mitigate the impact of the event on our staff, facilities and mission," FCPS Superintendent Scott Braband wrote in a letter to parents. "To date, we have canceled international field trips and short-term visitations to and from some countries, based on CDC guidelines."

FCPS also told parents to monitor their children who have returned from those trips and who exhibit signs of illness and coughing -- two symptoms of the virus. 

Even universities in the area have begun taking precautions, with schools like Georgetown, American and Howard canceling all study abroad programs and working to make online accommodations for impacted students.

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