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Governor Phil Murphy will encourage residential colleges and universities to provide testing for all students traveling home for Thanksgiving break.

Any student who tests positive will be encouraged to isolate on campus before they can travel or detail arrangements of their safe travel home with the local department of health.

These efforts will help mitigate the threat of college students returning home for the holidays importing COVID-19 into their communities.

“With Thanksgiving and the broader holiday season fast approaching, we have to recognize that any large family gathering — particularly among different age groups — runs the risk of turning the dinner table into a COVID hotspot,” said Governor Murphy. “To reduce the risk of transmission across our region, we are encouraging colleges and universities to ramp up testing for students returning home, and for anyone who tests positive to adhere to their state’s quarantine restrictions. If we collectively recommit ourselves to the commonsense mitigation practices that got us through the first wave of this pandemic, we can save lives before a vaccine becomes broadly available.”

If people proceed with celebrations in small gatherings outside of their immediate families, they risk generating a dramatic spike in cases after Thanksgiving.

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