Gov. Phil Murphy will self-quarantine and cancel all in-person events after an unnamed member of his family tested positive for COVID-19, the governor’s office announced on Feb. 10.
Although Murphy tested negative, he will nonetheless opt to self-isolate “out of an abundance of caution and in line with the highest levels of commitment to protecting public health,” his office said in a statement released minutes before his annual COVID-19 press conference scheduled for 1 p.m. was supposed to begin. That was now pushed to a virtual press briefing set for 3 p.m.
The statement does not indicate when exactly this family member tested positive for COVID-19.
But the governor toured Jersey City’s COVID-19 vaccine site earlier in the day, and another vaccination site at Peapack-Gladstone on Feb. 9. Murphy, who was previously vaccinated for COVID-19, was at another vaccination clinic on Monday, in addition to a COVID-19 press briefing later that day.
Mahen Gunaratna, the communications director for the governor’s office, said that contact tracing efforts are underway for “everyone who may have come into contact with the governor’s family member during the potential infection window.”
This marks the second time that the governor was exposed to COVID-19 and as such had to self-quarantine. The first time was in October, when he was in contact with a staff member during a weekend gathering who then tested positive for COVID-19.
Several staff at the governor’s office tested positive then, including senior advisor and former press secretary Dan Bryan.
Other senior officials, like New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, have self-isolated after members of their own staff teams tested positive.