Rutgers football team in quarantine following a social gathering and players testing positive for Covid-19
(CNN) -- The entire Rutgers University football program is under quarantine and has temporarily halted all in-person activities, all the result of individuals attending a gathering.
At least 15 players have tested positive for Covid-19 so far, according to New Jersey State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.
"We have had several circumstances where indoor and outdoor gatherings in our state have led to community clusters of Covid-19. ... There's been an outbreak among Rutgers football players with 15 of them currently testing positive," she said during a news conference Wednesday, listing other outbreaks across the state.
A Rutgers Athletics spokesperson, however, could neither confirm to CNN that the cases were tied to a gathering nor provide further details.
The Middlesex County Office of Health Services was not immediately available for comment.
The Scarlet Knights have seen a growing number of positive cases after the team returned to campus June 15. Rutgers announced the quarantine and pause of in-person team activities last week after weekly tests brought the team total to 10 coronavirus cases.
The program said in a statement Saturday it "will work diligently with Rutgers medical experts, and state and local officials to determine next steps."
It's unclear whether the gathering was tied to scheduled team activities.
"I don't want to get out over my skis here but I believe that the incidents had nothing to do with athletic activity," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said during a news conference Monday.
Last week, Murphy issued an executive order that allowed outdoor sports activities to start up again in the state.
The Rutgers outbreak should not affect that order, he said.
Across the Big Ten Conference, Rutgers Football joins the Michigan State Spartans, which began a quarantine July 22 after one staff member tested positive for the virus.
The Big Ten said earlier this month it intends to move to conference-only schedules, provided medical advice supports that decision. The NCAA, meanwhile, said it would continue its discussions into August on whether any of its 22 championships will proceed in late November.
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