Kena 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 universitys 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 mens basketball team for two Western Athletic Conference games on Tuesday, as well as two games its womens 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.