New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy warned residents that authorities will “crash” any parties held during the coronavirus pandemic after police broke up a house party where almost 50 people had crammed into a small apartment.
Officers from Ewing Township broke up a house party on Friday night where 47 people, including a DJ, violated the state’s stay-at-home order to gather in a 550 square-foot apartment, Murphy said during a news briefing on Saturday.
Murphy said the party organizer was charged “as they should have been and deserved to be.” The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office is handling the case, he added. The prosecutor’s office has been contacted for comment.
Can’t believe I have to say this at all, let alone for the second time. But here we are.
NO CORONA PARTIES. They’re illegal, dangerous, and stupid.
We will crash your party. You will pay a big fine. And we will name & shame you until EVERYONE gets this message into their heads.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 28, 2020
Murphy used the party as an example of “something not to do” and said his office wouldn’t hesitate about “naming and shaming those who can’t get this message into their heads.”
He said, “This is not a game. It is critical that you stay at home unless you absolutely need to go out, or because we need you on the frontlines helping us respond to this crisis in whichever way we have asked you to help.
“For everybody else, stay home period. And if you do go out, whether it’s to a supermarket or to a pharmacy, keep a safe six-foot distance from anybody else including family members or friends you may be with.”
After the news briefing, Murphy took to social media to reiterate the message that gatherings would not be permitted and fines would be imposed on anyone who violated the rules.
“Can’t believe I have to say this at all, let alone for the second time. But here we are,” he wrote on Twitter and Facebook. “NO CORONA PARTIES. They’re illegal, dangerous, and stupid. We will crash your party. You will pay a big fine. And we will name & shame you until EVERYONE gets this message into their heads.”
During Saturday’s news briefing, Murphy reports that New Jersey had another 2,289 cases of coronavirus bringing to the state’s total to 11,124. He also said 32 people had died due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in the 24 hours prior bringing the state’s death toll to 140.
“Over the past day, another 32 of our fellow blessed New Jerseyans have died because of COVID-19-related complications. This brings to a cumulative total of 140 invaluable, precious, nonexpendable souls who are no longer with us in the Garden State because of this virus,” Murphy said.
“Let me put it this way. No one is getting graded on a curve for their social distancing. There’s no opportunity for an A- or a B+ here. This is a pass/fail test. This is life and death.”
World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
- Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
- Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.
- Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
- Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
- If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
- Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
- Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.
Mask and glove usage
- Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
- Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
- Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
- Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
- Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
- Do not reuse single-use masks.
- Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
- The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.