TRENTON, NJ – Gov. Murphy again condemned crowded house parties, which he says are causing the number of new COVID-19 cases to rise in the state during his COVID-19 press briefing on Wednesday.

He said that over the past four months, New Jersey residents have “crushed the curve,” but was disappointed that over the past four days, there have been roughly 2,000 new positive coronavirus test results.

“This is no time for anyone to be vying for induction into the Knucklehead Hall of Fame,” said Murphy, invoking one of his favorite terms referring to those who engage in behavior that might increase the transmission of COVID-19.

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He then cited some examples:

  • A house party attended by teens in Middletown last week has now been linked to 50 new positive cases of coronavirus in attendees between the ages of 15 to 19.
  • A party on LBI has now sidelined nearly three-dozen lifeguards who have tested positive.
  • This weekend, there was a massive house party in Jackson that had an estimated 700 people – and which took nearly the entire Jackson Township police force to break up.

“We don’t even know yet how many new coronavirus cases may ultimately be the outcome of this party. Coronavirus is more easily transmitted indoors. Crowded indoor house parties are not smart or safe. We’re now back to where we were roughly a month ago in the daily number of new cases,” he said. “We cannot go backwards.”

“When there are hundreds of people crammed into a house, where the air-conditioning system is simply blowing the air around and people are not wearing masks, you have also invited coronavirus to your party,” Murphy said.

“Being young is not an excuse to let your guard down,” he said. “You are not immune to COVID-19. Do not become the person who unknowingly contracts coronavirus at a party and then spreads it to loved ones who may be more susceptible to this virus.”

“Just because it is summer does not mean that we give up our common sense or personal responsibility,” the governor added. “We can have an enjoyable summer. We can gather together with our friends – but only in small groups and, hopefully, only outdoors.”

“Indoor gathers, in close proximity, without face coverings, have got to end. If we don’t shake that bad habit, we are all in peril,” Murphy said.