NEW JERSEY — Five days after Gov. Phil Murphy suddenly left a briefing in Camden County over concerns of having the coronavirus, he said this afternoon he has not been symptomatic and tested negative four times since last Monday.

First Lady Tammy Murphy, who entered a voluntary self-quarantine with the governor last week, has tested negative three times.  

Still, this upcoming Thursday’s COVID-19 press conference will still be held virtually. 

Sign Up for Union Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

“We just think the right move here is to not engage needlessly or when we don't have to,” Murphy said Monday while providing the public with the latest pandemic updates. “And these formats have become pretty much common-use formats for so many of us. If we can use it, let's use it.”

Murphy did not say whether briefings following this week will be held online or in-person.

The governor and his wife attended a social gathering at Pilsener Haus & Biergarten on Oct. 17 in Hoboken when they came in contact with Deputy Chief of Staff for Intergovernmental Affairs Mike Delamater - the senior staff member who later tested positive for the virus. Another staff member, spokesperson Dan Bryan - who was not at the gathering - later also tested positive. Bryan was asymptomatic and Delamater had mild symptoms when he entered self-quarantine.

Murphy learned of his exposure roughly 20 minutes into a press conference at Camden County College (CCC) in Blackwood, where he, Congressman Donald Norcross and other local officials announced $14 million in workforce funds.

"I will now unfortunately have to take myself off the field," Murphy said at the time. "I can’t ask President Trump not to come to Bedminster and do a fundraiser and have me sit here.”

On Monday, based on a continued spike of COVID-19 figures - the state has over 220,000 cases since March - Murphy pointed to the safety of staff, members of the press and technicians when considering in-person meetings. 

“There's no question, and we'll go through today's numbers, that numbers are surging, and if we can get together virtually and not have to be in the same room, even though it's a big room, that's going to be our bias,” Murphy said. “We'll be with you electronically between now and then I don't expect to see much of a public schedule on my part, or probably any of our part, that's actually in person.”

Murphy said the First Lady, as well as Delamater and Brian, are all doing well.