Gov. Phil Murphy said he and his wife were exposed to COVID-19 on Saturday night while at an outdoor bar at Pilsener House & Biergarten in Hoboken.
The governor and First Lady Tammy Murphy will now be in self-quarantine through this weekend, Murphy said Wednesday, after having been in close contact with a staff member who tested positive for the virus, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intergovernmental Affairs Michael DeLamater, at a “social engagement.”
Murphy said during a Thursday morning interview on 1010 WINS AM radio that he and everyone at the table had taken off their masks.
“Obviously, you can’t eat or drink through a mask,” the governor said. “At the table, you’re having a drink, you’re eating something. By definition, you’re taking your mask off.”
“Everybody that was at the table that we were at is going [offline], and either has gotten tested, I think everyone has been tested at this point, and I believe to the best of my knowledge everybody else, thank god has been negative,” Murphy said.
On Wednesday, the governor left a South Jersey press announcement less than an hour into it, minutes after he learned that he was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, Dan Bryan, his senior strategic communications officer, also tested positive.
The governor said that he was “not really up against this person,” of DeLamater. “It was at most 15 minutes, and we were outdoors.”
Communications Director Mahen Gunaratna was also in attendance at the Saturday evening gathering.
New Jersey is experiencing a rebound of COVID-19 outbreaks, with the state having logged more than 1,000 new positive cases over four consecutive days and its highest level of hospitalizations from the virus in three months.
“There is enormous fatigue right now. And who can blame folks? I’ve got fatigue. Who doesn’t?” Murphy said Thursday on MSNBC. “As long as that’s the case, we have to appeal to people to remember their personal responsibility. No state has done a better job of that than New Jersey. But the clock is ticking.”l