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KU student returns home from Italy after program shut down over COVID-19

University cancels study abroad program
ari roozrokh.jpg
Posted at 5:41 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 22:31:52-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — University of Kansas students, who were studying abroad, are making their way back to Kansas City due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Ari Roozrokh, a junior at KU was studying abroad in Florence, Italy, when KU canceled its program.

On Thursday, Roozrokh documented his trip home and spoke with the 41 Action News investigators about the extra precautions being taken at the airport.

"They started screening people and taking their temperature before you got onto the plane," Roozrokh said. "They weren't letting people on the plane that had above a 99.5 percent temperature."

Roozrokh said no one was pulled away from the boarding area due to a fever.

Italy has the third highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world.

Roozrokh left for Italy at the end of January. He wasn't supposed to return home until May.

When the virus first hit, Roozrokh said people didn't seem concerned.

"It started hitting really hard when we went to Venice two weeks ago," Roozrokh said. "It was just like a very different feel that Sunday when we were leaving Venice. Everyone was just kind of quiet and it wasn't as crowded as it would be."

Then, Roozrokh noticed a shift in how people were responding to the news of the virus.

"They were sold out, at every pharmacy, of hand sanitizer and masks," Roozrokh said. "We saw a lot of people wearing masks in Venice when we were leaving."

Roozrokh said he's bummed his time in Italy is being cut short.

Students are being asked to self-quarantine and check their temperature daily for two weeks.

Roozrokh's dad, David Rozrokh, said he has a welcome home gift waiting for his son at their home in Overland Park.

"He did say, 'get me a Corona when I come home.' So, we got to take him a Corona," David Roozrokh said.

Students who were studying abroad will be able to finish their course work online.