New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy was in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday and is going into self-quarantine, he said Wednesday.
He made the announcement during an unrelated press briefing and abruptly left the event, saying he had learned of the exposure minutes earlier. A spokesperson for his office later said the infected person was senior staff member Mike Delamater, the deputy chief of staff for intergovernmental affairs.
"I was just informed by my colleagues that I was in close proximity to someone who has just tested positive," a masked Murphy said. "I can’t ask President Trump not to come to Bedminster and do and fundraiser and have me sit here. I will now, unfortunately, have to take myself off the field."
He said he was last tested on Monday, his most recent COVID briefing, and was negative. He said he had no symptoms. He and his wife were both tested Wednesday as a precaution and that test came back negative, a spokesperson said. The senior staff member who was positive is quarantining at home.
Later Wednesday, a second member of Murphy's senior staff — Daniel Bryan, who is a communications adviser — was confirmed to have tested positive for COVID. He was asymptomatic.
Mahen Gunaranta, Murphy's communications director, said the administration has begun the contact tracing process to notify everyone who may have come into contact "with our colleague during the potential infection window."
Murphy and his wife both canceled their in-person events and will voluntarily quarantine through at least the end of the weekend, Gunaranta said. They each will take an additional COVID-19 test before they resume any in-person events.
"As you all know, just cause if I was with someone Saturday night and got tested Sunday morning, that doesn't really tell you a lot," Murphy said. "You got to wait and see to make sure there wasn't any incubating."
Murphy had been scheduled to hold his next COVID briefing on Thursday.
New Jersey has more than 223,000 positive cases as of Wednesday and nearly 16,300 deaths, including its probable fatalities. The state's daily coronavirus cases have doubled over the past month, state officials said earlier this week.