JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy today announced his knucklehead hall-of-fame, which included three large house parties, two of which resulted in COVID-19 outbreaks. He also mentioned last weekend’s 700 person “mansion” party as part of his list.
“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,” Murphy said. “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.”
“This is no time for anyone to be vying for induction into the Knucklehead Hall of Fame,” Murphy said. “Coronavirus is more easily transmitted indoors. Crowded indoor house parties are not smart or safe.”
The Jackson Township party represents the largest incident cited by Murphy, but could Jackson be the next COVID-19 hot spot? Chances are low as the majority of partygoers at the mansion party in that town were from out of town. The LBI and Middletown parties were mostly local teens and young adults.
“I get that we’ve all had our routines turned upside down for the past four months, and we want to blow off some steam with friends,” Murphy said. “I understand the desire to escape the heat and head into the air conditioning. But, indoor house parties spread coronavirus more efficiently.”