NJ Gov. Phil Murphy tests positive for COVID-19
TRENTON – Gov. Phil Murphy today tested positive for COVID-19.
The Governor’s Office announced this afternoon that Murphy tested positive on a regularly scheduled rapid antigen test that was then confirmed by a PCR test.
“He is currently asymptomatic and feeling well,” said Mahen Gunaratna, the governor’s communications director.
Murphy will cancel in-person events, isolate for the next five days and continue to monitor for symptoms before taking an additional PCR test, Gunaratna said. He had made a public appearance earlier today outdoors in Holmdel.
Contact tracing has begun, Gunaratna said.
“The governor has diligently taken precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 and encourages everyone eligible to get vaccinated and boosted, as he has done, to protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus,” said Gunaratna.
Murphy, 64, is fully vaccinated and got a booster shot. He told WBGO in a Thursday night radio show, which he participated in through Zoom, that he was in the process of arranging for a second booster, as greenlighted this week by federal health officials for people who are 50 and older or immunocompromised.
He urged people to get vaccinated and, if eligible, boosted.
“This is highly transmissible," Murphy said. "I’m boosted, I’ve got it, but I’m sitting in my house. I’m not in the hospital.”
Murphy said he feels "pretty good," though he was noticeably sniffling through the interview.
First lady Tammy Murphy tested positive for the virus in early January.
Murphy had been extra precautious throughout the pandemic after having surgery for kidney cancer just as the virus outbreak began in March 2020, even double-masking for one period of time.
“Given all the rooms that I’ve been in over the past 25 months, it’s probably a small miracle that I haven’t gotten nicked before," Murphy said.
COVID infections in New Jersey have begun to rise slightly as the latest omicron variant takes hold. Known infections reported by labs are up 8% in the past week and 27% from their recent low on March 15, averaging 1,073 a day over the last week.
Known infections are still down 97% from the omicron peak in late January.
“The numbers have started to creep up a little bit," Murphy said. "And folks should expect that we’re going to have another wave. But I think our team will be very surprised if it comes remotely close to those early, awful waves.”
Murphy said his infection doesn’t make him reconsider his recent COVID decisions, such as ending mask mandates.
“We can’t manage this to zero. It’s just unrealistic," Murphy said.
“Both the pandemic itself and the mindset around this have moved on," he said. "And God willing, this is going to be an endemic and not anything like we saw a couple years ago.”
Michael Symons is the Statehouse bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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