A spokesman for the governor said Wednesday evening that Phil Murphy was in a bar in Hoboken on Saturday night when he came in contact with a senior staffer who later tested positive for coronovirus.
Murphy’s communications director and his wife, Murphy’s senior adviser Dan Bryan, said the governor and first lady Pilsner were at a social event at Hawes & Biergarten.
He said that Murphy and his wife were there for more than an hour. Deputy Chief of Staff Mike Delamater, who learned he had tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, joined the gathering “for 15 minutes”.
“The small gathering was out,” Brian said. “(Delamater) was not close to the governor or the first lady for a sustained period of time.”
Both the governor and First Lady Tammy Murphy tested negative for the virus on Wednesday afternoon, Murphy’s office said.
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They Murphy was suddenly tested after Delmater tested positive after being taken nearly two hours before the stage of a public event.
“I was just informed by my colleagues that I was in close proximity to someone on Saturday who had just tested positive,” Murphy said after attending the program at Camden Community College for about 30 minutes. “I will now unfortunately take myself off the field.”
Bryan also announced that he tested positive on Wednesday afternoon.
Officials say contact tracing has begun, but it was not clear on Wednesday night how many people from the Governor’s inner circle had come in contact with senior staff who tested positive.
“At no point was the executive order violated,” Bryan said of Murphy’s visit to Pilsner Hoss and Beargarten.
Murphy’s order on restaurants and bars requires people to wear masks at all times except to eat or drink.
Bryan said that in addition to social gatherings last weekend, Murphy is going to his office on West State Street most days, with 10 to 12 employees a day.
Masks are worn in earnest inside offices, and desks in a common area are separated by plexiglass, he said.
The governor said that he plans to quarantine at least through the end of the weekend. He has scheduled remote shows including his coronovirus briefing on Thursday
The last time COVID-19 came into Murphy’s class was when his former chief counsel tested positive in early April. Murphy underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from one of his kidneys on March 4 – almost a month after registering his first case in New Jersey.
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