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NJ college suspends athletic teams' travel amid coronavirus outbreak

NJ college suspends athletic teams' travel amid coronavirus outbreak
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Kean University in Union, N.J., has suspended travel for its athletes amid the coronavirus outbreak out of an “abundance of caution," a spokesperson said Wednesday.

The school has directed five of its 14 intercollegiate varsity programs not to travel, including its softball and baseball teams, which were slated to participate in spring break tournaments in Florida this week, spokeswoman Margaret McCorry said in a statement obtained by NJ.com.

"This [decision] is consistent with the university’s recommendation for the entire campus community to postpone spring break travel to limit possible exposure to COVID-19, avoid travel disruptions and reduce the risk of needing to self quarantine upon their return,'' McCorry said in the statement.

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“Our top priorities are the health and safety of our student-athletes and the entire campus community. This approach also minimizes the risk of disruption to the rest of the student-athletes’ academic semester and season,” she added, saying the decision currently only applies to spring break.

Kean is the first known New Jersey school to make such a decision, but Chicago State University canceled travel for its men’s basketball team for two Western Athletic Conference games on Tuesday, as well as two games its women’s team was set to host.

Kean also has a campus in Wenzhou, China, about 500 miles away from Wuhan, the epicenter of the initial outbreak, although there are no known cases of coronavirus on that campus either.

"We are grateful that there are no confirmed or suspected cases of the coronavirus at any Kean campuses, here in the United States or in Wenzhou, China,'' the university said in a statement Tuesday.

New Jersey has no confirmed cases of the virus thus far, but Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced a presumptive positive test Wednesday evening.