Governor to self-quarantine after senior staffer tests positive for COVID-19 (updated)

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy
Gov. Phil Murphy at his regular press briefing. Photo by Rich Hundley III.

A spokesman for New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said on Wednesday that Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy will voluntarily quarantine after a senior staff member in the governor’s office tested positive for COVID-19.

“A member of the governor’s senior staff recently tested positive for COVID-19. Per guidance from public health officials, the individual is currently quarantining at home,” said Mahen Gunaratna, the governor’s communications director. “We have begun the contact tracing process to notify everyone who may have come into contact with our colleague during the potential infection window.”

Gunaratna said that “out of an abundance of caution and in line with the highest levels of commitment to protecting public health,” the governor and first lady would be canceling their in-person events and voluntarily quarantining through the end of the weekend.

The governor took a COVID-19 test on Monday as part of his regular testing regime, and he and the first lady took another test on Tuesday. Gunaratna said all of the tests came back negative. The Murphys will take an additional test before they resume any in-person engagements, Gunaratna said.

“From the beginning, the Governor’s Office has taken every precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19. Today’s exceedingly cautious steps are part of that ongoing commitment,” Gunaratna said.

The staffer who tested positive is Daniel Bryan, the senior advisor to the governor for strategic communications. Officials said he remains asymptomatic. and that the contact tracing process is underway. Anyone, including members of press, believed to have had exposure as defined by CDC guidelines will be notified, officials said.