Yesterday the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in Italy surpassed 100, prompting Italian officials to announce the closure of all schools and universities until at least March 15th. The Pontifical Universities in Rome are following suit in complying with the government’s directive.

The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross issued a statement that “following the announcement of the Italian government” they would suspend non-distanced learning classes until March 15th.

“The same will happen for conferences and congresses, which are postponed to new dates that will be communicated by their organizers.” 

The Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas issued a statement as well, saying “following the decision taken by the Italian government” they would also suspend class until the 15th.

“We inform you that all teaching activity will be suspended from tomorrow 5 March to 15 March. The reading room of the library will remain closed. The University will keep you constantly updated on further decisions that will be made in the coming days.”

The decision to suspend class comes after mass Mass cancellations among the dioceses of Northern Italy. South Korea also followed suit, along with dispensations from attending Mass in Hong Kong.

The Vatican has also postponed other events. Pope Francis’ economic summit, The Economy of Francesco was originally scheduled from March 26-28, but will take place on in November. Pope Francis’ Global Compact on Education was postponed from May to October.

“The uncertainty linked to the spread of Coronavirus, along with the decisions taken by public authorities on a global scale, have led to the decision to postpone the anticipated meeting in order to allow the widest and most serene participation possible.”

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