Four days after Rutgers football announced they were shutting down workouts due to six people within the program testing positive for COVID-19, Keith Sargeant of NJ Advance Media reported on Wednesday that the situation has gotten worse. ESPN also reported on the news later in the day.
New Jersey state health commissioner Judith Persichilli stated during Governor Murphy’s press briefing on Wednesday that fifteen players have tested positive. She indicated that across the state there have been recent issues with ”several circumstances where indoor and outdoor gatherings in our state have led to community clusters of COVID-19.” Persichilli referenced one specifically at Rutgers as one of those events that has led to a cluster of cases within New Jersey. She stated that “there’s been an outbreak of Rutgers football players, with 15 of them currently testing positive.” It was not stated how many actual members of the program actually attended this gathering.
Rutgers has not yet publicly commented as of Thursday morning.
Although this news is concerning in regard to the health and safety of everyone within the football program, this issue is not one isolated to Rutgers.
The New York Times reported on Wednesday that over 6,300 coronavirus cases have been linked to colleges in the United States. The survey included every public four-year college in the US and every private institution that competes in Division I sports or a member of the AAU (Association of American Universities), which totals over 270 colleges in total.
As for Rutgers football, the shutdown and quarantine of the entire program is another example within college football over the past few weeks that highlights the challenges of having a season this fall.