NEW LONDON, N.H. — Thirty-five Kearsarge Regional High School students who traveled to Italy during February vacation were told Sunday to stay home for a week in the unlikely event they were exposed to the new COVID-19 virus while abroad.

Superintendent Winfried Feneberg wrote in an email that the decision was made “out of an abundance of caution.” The school will utilize technology to ensure the students can continue their studies, he said.

The students traveled to France, the United Kingdom and Italy, the latter of which has reported more than 1,500 people infected with the COVID-19 virus.

None of the students are showing any symptoms of illness, a spokesman said.

Feneberg asked the students and staff who were on the trip not to return to school until March 9. By that date, 14 days will have passed since the students were in Italy.

The announcement came on the same day Rhode Island disclosed its first confirmed case of the virus. The person who tested positive traveled to Italy in mid-February.

Infections of the virus in Italy rose 50 percent Sunday, and the U.S. government advised Americans against any travel to two regions in northern Italy.

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