More than 30 A&M students, staff self-quarantine after trip to Italy

More than 30 Texas A&M University students and staff who were part of a study abroad trip to Italy in February are self-quarantined. (KBTX)
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) More than 30 Texas A&M University students and staff who were part of a study abroad trip to Italy in February are self-quarantined.

Texas A&M confirmed Monday fewer than 15 in the group remain in the Bryan-College Station community.

"A&M requested us to be self-quarantined and just to do our best to limit our interaction with people," said Texas A&M Senior Mereyah Cage.

Cage was with the students who arrived in Italy at the beginning of February and returned at of the month due to COVID-19 fears.

"I was supposed to be there from early February until like May 3 or 4, but obviously that got cut short," said Cage in an interview over Skype with News 3 reporter Hope Barnett.

Cage said those who did not stay in BCS returned to their hometowns, and they're now five days into their 14-day self-quarantine.

Brazos County's Alternate Health Authority, Dr. Seth Sullivan, said there's a reason the default self-quarantine time is 14 days.

"Fourteen days is the longest that we've seen of what we call an incubation period," said Dr. Sullivan. "That's the time that we could be exposed to the virus and time that we could actually develop symptoms of the virus."

Dr. Sullivan said there aren't enough resources to test everyone at the moment, so quarantining for a certain amount of time is the best option.

"The whole goal here is to get them away from the public to the best of our ability and to have them remain at home during the quarantine period," said Dr. Sullivan.

Cage isn't showing any symptoms of the virus but understands everyone's concerns.

"In the event that any of us did have the virus, we wouldn't want to be going out and bringing it to our hometowns or wherever we are doing our self-quarantine," said Cage. "I mean this virus is just posing a concern and obviously a risk to everyone, especially people in Italy at this point. So, I mean it's tough."

Cage told us she is going to finish out her classes from the semester so she can still graduate in May, and A&M reached out about refunding their trip.

The World Health Organization states more than 350 people have died in Italy with more than 9,000 cases. The country is now on lockdown, creating an internal travel ban to help avoid the spread of the virus.