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Seton Hall records six new positive COVID-19 cases as Murphy says state is ‘close’ to ordering new restrictions

Seton Hall reported six additional cases of the coronavirus among its student population on Wednesday evening, five of which were detected in students who are based at the South Orange campus and one from Seton Hall’s Law School.

According to the University, three of the five students from the South Orange campus were connected to a previously reported case and discovered through the University’s own testing protocol. The remaining two students and the law school student tested positive off campus and are reportedly all unrelated.

Gov. Phil Murphy, pictured on Oct. 13, recently said that New Jersey was "close" to announcing new coronavirus restrictions. (Edwin J. Torres/Flickr)

In the last two weeks alone, Seton Hall has reported a total of 33 cases overall in students on the South Orange campus in addition to two cases at the University’s Law School campus in Newark. Of those 33 cases, 17 were reported to be connected or discovered via contact tracing.

The University did not say if any of the additional cases were related to the previously announced clusters in athletics or Greek Life.

The cases were reported on the same day that New Jersey saw its highest increase in cases since early May, clocking in at 2,427 cases on Wednesday according to the state’s official coronavirus dashboard.

On Thursday, the state reported another 2,104 cases accompanied by an announcement from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy that he is considering new restrictions to stem the spread of the virus, which has surged statewide in the last two weeks. In the last seven days alone New Jersey has reported over 13,000 new cases.

Essex County, where all three of Seton Hall’s campuses reside, reported the most daily cases of any other county in the state on Thursday at 266 new cases.

“How close are we to doing something?” Murphy said. “Close. So, bear with us. We will clearly be taking action.”

Murphy did not elaborate on what kind of actions he would take, but in the past has discussed taking a more surgical approach to mitigate the spread of the virus in areas where it is spreading, but last week refused to rule out a return to the statewide lockdowns that he implemented back in April.

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“If we had to. I just hope we don’t have to,” Murphy said in an appearance on CNN last Friday in response to a question about potential curfews and shutdowns for nonessential businesses statewide. “We’ve done it before. If we had to, we’d do it again. But please God, I hope we don’t have to get to that.”

Nicholas Kerr can be reached at Find him on Twitter @nickdotkerr.


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