March 4th, 2020
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 baseball, men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, softball and men’s volleyball teams all have had games scratched, according to keanathletics.com. It’s 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.
The Kean men’s lacrosse team originally was scheduled to play a series in Whittier, California, on March 10, 12 and 14, while the women’s team had a pair of games slated to be played in Claremont, California, on March 9 and 11.
According to the California Department of Public Health, as of Monday, there were 43 positive cases in California.
“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.
“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 cancelled 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 700 miles away from Wuhan, the epicenter of the initial outbreak, although there are no known cases on of coronavirus 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.