CAMDEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There was an abrupt announcement Wednesday from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.
He’s self-quarantining out of an abundance caution because a senior member of his staff has tested positive for COVID-19.
Governor Murphy stresses that he has no symptoms and has tested negative twice this week, including on Wednesday.
He was at a workforce development in Camden when he found out about the staffer who tested positive. That’s when the governor abruptly left.
The public event at Camden County College started out routine for Gov. Murphy, but about 20 minutes after his initial remarks at the socially-distanced gathering, he came back on stage.
“I was just informed by my colleagues that I was in close proximity to someone on Saturday who has just tested positive… I will now, unfortunately, have to take myself off the field. I can’t ask President Trump not to come to Bedminster and do a fundraiser and have me sit here,” he said.
Murphy then walked off stage and left to get tested for COVID-19.
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Murphy’s communications director confirms a member of the governor’s senior staff is the one who tested positive. That person is now quarantining at home.
Senior Advisor Daniel Bryan has also since tested positive, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reports.
Watch Ali Bauman’s report —
The communications director says out of an abundance of caution Murphy and his wife are canceling their in-person events and voluntarily quarantining through the end of the weekend.
“I have no symptoms. Again, I tested negative on Monday, but I’ve got to go take myself off the field and get tested again today.”
We’re told that test came back negative, too.
Monday’s test was part of his regularly scheduled testing regime.
While not connected, the news comes nearly one week after we learned former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie recovered from COVID-19. Christie spent seven days in the intensive care unit at Morristown Medical Center.
New Jersey residents CBS2’s Andrea Grymes spoke with say it’s better Gov. Murphy be safe than sorry.
“I sympathize with Murphy,” said Fort Lee resident Jim Marcus. “I sympathize with anyone who’s a governor and has to deal with this thing.”
“I think he’s done a good job. I think he’s being careful, and I think we all have to be careful,” another person said.
The governor’s office says they’ve started the contact tracing process to notify everyone who may have come in contact with that staffer.
They say the governor and first lady will take another COVID test before they resume any in-person activities.
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