Public Service Announcement: ANYONE who was at this party who has not yet been identified – or parents whose kids were there – are urged to call the Middletown Health Department at 732-615-2000, ext. 2165, or to email covid19@middletownj.org.

MIDDLETOWN, NJ - COVID-19 hit closer to home for Governor Murphy as his hometown of Middletown wrestles with a COVID-19 outbreak due to an alleged underage drinking party held by teenagers in a home on West Front Street in Middletown. The major challenge was not the underage drinking, however. The group, which the Governor stated were all self-quarantining, were refusing to work with contact tracers to help mitigate the spread of the deadly virus.

During an unrelated press conference held for small business, Murphy reviewed the case. "I was on the phone earlier today with Mayor Tony Perry who is a good friend, and he was going through exactly in his estimation what happened - the good news is it does not appear anyone's in the hospital - the range of ages as I understand it were all teens so the mid teens the upper teens." said Murphy.

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"The more challenging news...is on the contact tracing. I don't know that Tony (Mayor Perry) used this phrase, but I believe he did, is hit somewhat of a 'brick wall'. We don't condone illegal behavior, so I'm not wild about 15-year-olds or whatever's drinking alcohol on the one hand so please, don't break the law. But on the other hand this isn't a witch hunt - you know we don't condone that but this is a public health pursuit of the contact tracing corps are after."

Murphy urged cooperation with the contact tracers.

"I don't condone, we don't condone illegal behavior but on the other hand these folks are trying to do good and try to contain a public health crisis unlike any that were had before, so I ask folks to please cooperate with those contract tracers." said Murphy.