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Family Member of Gov. Phil Murphy Tests Positive for COVID-19

Gov. Phil Murphy is voluntarily quarantining after a family member tested positive for COVID-19 on Feb. 10.

Murphy noted neither him nor his wife Tammy tested positive—news the governor announced himself as the First Lady’s test result came back in the middle of a press briefing that had been delayed until later in the afternoon. But he did not disclose the family member that tested positive was.

A Middletown resident, Murphy and his wife Tammy have four children, three sons and a daughter. The governor believes the COVID-19 positive individual was infected at a small gathering as family members have avoided big gatherings in large venues since the outbreak. The family member received the test result late morning on Feb. 10.

Off the Field

According to a statement from the governor’s office released just before 1 p.m., the governor does not qualify as an exposed close contact. Per guidance from public health officials, the contact tracing process has begun to notify everyone who may have come into contact with the governor’s family member during the potential infection window.

But Murphy, despited reiterating he was feeling fine, decided he needed “to take himself off the field” due to the positive test of the family member. He noted that he has taken precaution measures in his home to the extent windows are kept open for ventilation purposes and family members have remain 6 feet apart from each other when at home in accordance with CDC guidance.

The governor said that he will be virtual for a number of days, canceling in-person events as he quarantines before resuming any in-person engagements. He said the decision to quarantine was made with state health officials “out of an abundance of caution and in line with the highest levels of commitment to protecting public health.” 

Jersey City Visit

Murphy received a coronavirus test earlier in the day as part of his regularly-scheduled testing regime, which came back negative. He had spent the morning in Jersey City visiting a city-operated vaccine site at the Mary McLeod Bethune Life Center.

This is not the first time that Murphy has been quarantined during the pandemic. In October 2020, a member of the governor’s senior staff tested positive for COVID-19, causing the governor to abruptly leave a press event.  

Murphy later revealed he was in Hoboken when he came into contact with Deputy Chief of Staff Mike Delamater, a senior staffer who was the first staffer to test positive for the coronavirus. The Murphy’s were at an outdoor beer hall with communications director Mahen Gunaratna and his wife, later joined by Delamater. 

Waiting His Turn

When asked if he would reconsider attempting to get a COVID-19 vaccine under an essential worker designation as well as health concerns related to having undergone surgery to remove cancerous tumors in his kidneys in March 2020, Murphy said he would wait for his “at bat” when he is eligible.

“I am comfortable to wait for my turn in line,” stated Murphy.

Daily Data

On Feb. 10, the cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 653,955 with 3,740 total new PCR cases reported. There were 885 probable cases, bringing the cumulative total of antigen tests to 78,041. The total number of individual cases for the state is 731,996. Murphy has noted there is some unknown overlap due to health officials urging those taking a rapid test to get a PCR test.

As for those that have passed, the state reported 88 new deaths, bringing that total to 20,004. The state listed probable deaths at 2,246, bringing the overall total to 22,250. State officials noted 49 deaths occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.  

For North Jersey counties on Feb. 10, Bergen had a total of 351 new confirmed cases and 89 probable cases, Essex 445 new cases and 69 probable cases, Hudson 314 new cases and 47 probable cases, Morris 219 new cases and and 61 probable cases, Passaic 346 new cases and 51 probable cases, Sussex 45 new cases and 20 probable cases, and Warren 34 cases and two probable cases.

Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 2,319, followed by Bergen at 2,248, Hudson with 1,735, Passaic at 1,461, Morris at 867, Sussex at 205 and Warren County at 189.

In regards to probable deaths reported Feb. 10, Bergen has 277, Essex has 261, Morris at 222, Hudson has 177, Passaic at 167, Sussex has 61 and Warren has 18.

State Testing 

The daily rate of infections from those tested as of Feb. 6, was 12.2%; by region, the rate was 12.9% in the North, 12.7% in the Central region and 9.6% in the South. The state is no longer using serology tests as health officials explained those results show a past presence of the disease as well as a current one. 

As for the rate of transmission, it decreased to 0.81 from 0.83 the previous day. Officials have continually cited transmission rate and positivity rate as health data they rely on to track how the coronavirus is being contained in New Jersey, guiding them in determining when restrictions have to be tightened or lifted.

Officials reported 2,786 patients were hospitalized; 2,605 cases were confirmed and 181 are under investigation. By region, there were 1,320 in the North, 858 in the Central and 608 in the South.

Of those hospitalized, 533 are in intensive care units and 341 on ventilators. A total of 383 patients were discharged, while 307 were admitted.

Bergen Tops County Count

Bergen has the most confirmed cumulative cases in the state with 63,426, followed by Middlesex at 63,045, Essex at 62,822, Hudson at 59,153, Passaic at 49,280, Ocean at 47,765, Monmouth at 47,277, Union at 46,119, Camden at 37,590, Morris at 29,419, Burlington at 29,225, Mercer at 24,684, Gloucester at 19,922, Atlantic at 18,360, Somerset at 17,257, Cumberland at 11,338, Sussex at 7,312, Warren at 5,822, Hunterdon at 5,706, Salem at 4,037, and Cape May at 3,197.  

In regards to probable cases, Bergen had the most at 7,552, followed by Union at 7,074, Ocean at 5,815, Essex at 5,591, Morris at 5,002, Hudson at 4,952, Monmouth at 4,740, Atlantic at 4,666, Middlesex at 4,533, Passaic at 4,296, Camden at 4,253, Burlington at 3,990, Somerset at 3,789, Cape May at 3,197, Gloucester at 2,912, Cumberland at 2,107, Mercer at 1,470, Sussex at 1,032, Warren at 669, Hunterdon at 587, and Salem 444.

Another 988 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.

In regards to cases related to in-school transmissions, a total of 142 outbreaks involving 671 cases, with five new outbreaks accounting for 16 cases reported in the weekly update on Feb. 10. 

For North Jersey, Bergen County has 32 confirmed outbreaks with 129 cases, Warren has eight confirmed outbreaks with 20 cases, Passaic County has seven confirmed outbreaks with 32 cases, Sussex has six confirmed outbreaks with 15 cases, Hudson County has two confirmed outbreaks with 10 cases, Morris County has two confirmed outbreaks with 10 cases, and Essex County with one confirmed outbreak with 92 cases.

Long-term Care Facilities

Health officials noted 406 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 14,172 of the cases, broken down between 6,986 residents and 7,186 staff. 

Cumulatively, 1,236 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 31,953 residents and 20,641 staff, for a total of 52,594 cases. 

The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 7,831 on Feb. 10. The facilities are reporting to the state 7,746 residents deaths and 143 staff deaths.

Vaccine Distribution

The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in New Jersey totaled 1,138,757 as of Feb. 10. Of those who have received the vaccine, 875,424 residents have received their first dose with 263,196 their second; 55% have been administered the Moderna vaccine and 45% the Pfizer. 

Demographically, 60% of those vaccinated are women and 40% men. As for ethnicity, 50% are White, 18% unknown, 17% other, 6% Asian, 5% Hispanic and 3% Black. In regards to age of those having received the vaccine, 37% are 65 years old or olders, 28% are between the ages of 50-64, 26% are between the ages of 40-49, and 9% are between the ages of 18-29.  

In North Jersey, Bergen County has delivered 126,619 doses, Essex 93,713 doses, Morris 82,704 doses, Passaic 53,132 doses, Hudson 52,160 doses, Sussex 17,611 doses, and Warren 10,733 doses. 

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