15 Rutgers University Football Players Test Positive for Coronavirus After On-Campus Party: Report

"As a result, we have paused all in-person team activities, quarantined our entire program and will work diligently with Rutgers medical experts, and state and local officials to determine next steps," Rutgers Athletics said in a statement Saturday.

Gov. Murphy told NJ.com Wednesday that the outbreak on the team "had nothing to do with athletic activity."

"I don’t want to get out over my skis here, but I believe that the incidents had nothing to do with athletic activity," he said. "It does not change my personal assessment of whether or not we can go ahead with fall sports. Because I don’t believe it was related to the athletic (activities) side of it. If that’s wrong, I’m sure Rutgers will correct the record."

The outbreak on the Scarlet Knights comes as thousands of COVID-19 cases nationwide have been linked to colleges.

A survey conducted by the New York Times published Wednesday found that there were more than 630 positive cases on 68 Division I campuses, with athletes, coaches and other staff contracting the virus.

Gov. Murphy had some strong words for people attending large gatherings on Wednesday, revealing that the state has seen more than 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the last four days.

"We are now back, plus or minus, to where we were roughly a month ago in the daily numbers of new cases," the Democratic governor said, per another NJ.com report. "This is a reason why we have had to hit pause on expanding the restart of more indoor activities, like dining and health clubs, where people are more likely to be indoors for a longer amount of time, not wearing masks, and more likely to be in one place for a longer amount of time."

"I’m not going to say that indoor dining is like a house party, but when one party in an air-conditioned house leads to dozens of new cases, it should give us all pause," he continued. "When there are hundreds of people crammed into a house, where the air-conditioning system is simply blowing the air around, and where people are not wearing masks, you have also invited coronavirus to your party."

Murphy added that while he understands that people want to "blow off some steam" and enjoy summertime activities, "this is no time for anyone to be vying for induction into the Knucklehead Hall of Fame."

As of Wednesday, New Jersey had reported at least 180,766 cases and 13,923 deaths related to COVID-19, according to data from the state's department of health.

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