Rutgers professor who attended Princeton party tests positive for coronavirus

At least 10 people who attended a private party in Princeton on Feb. 29 have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Rutgers University issued an alert to students and staff on Sunday informing them that a biomedical engineering professor at Rutgers University in New Brunswick tested positive for COVID-19. The test results were delivered late Saturday. 

The professor was exposed to the coronavirus at a private party at a home in Princeton in Feb. 29, a school spokesperson confirmed for Planet Princeton. Two Boston area residents who attended that party also had previously attended the Biogen conference in Boston. More than 70 people who attended that conference have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Three residents of Pennsylvania who were at the Princeton party tested positive on Wednesday. Two South Brunswick residents who were working at the party tested positive on Saturday. One Princeton University staff member who was at the party tested positive on Friday, and a second staffer tested positive on Saturday.

Officials became aware of the potential coronavirus exposure of party attendees on the night of March 9. The 47 people who attended the party were tracked down over the following two days and told to self-quarantine. Fourteen Princeton residents attended the party, and seven of the nine who had symptoms have been tested. Local officials were still waiting on some test results as of Friday.

Rutgers officials said the biomedical engineering professor there has been self-isolating and is currently doing well.

The professor had close contact with a limited number of people at Rutgers following his own exposure and prior to his own period of self-isolation, officials said. School officials said the people he had close contact with have been identified and notified. They’ve all been asked to self-isolate, school officials said.

The Biomedical Engineering Building on the Busch campus in Piscataway is being cleaned and disinfected in accordance with CDC guidelines, including focusing on frequently touched surfaces, school officials said.

“In a community of nearly 100,000 students, faculty and staff, it is reasonable to expect that this is only the first of several incidents of COVID-19 that will involve members of our community. I expect that each member of our university community will continue to support one another during this health crisis,” wrote Antonio Calcado, executive vice president of Rutgers. “As occurrences of COVID-19 become more common throughout New Jersey it is important to recognize that we have individual and collective moral obligations to do what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19.”