With stay-at-home orders in effect in various states throughout the country, community members in some areas are testing the boundaries by hosting large gatherings despite the guidelines. New Jersey police officers broke up a party of 47 people on Friday night.
The group, which included a DJ, was crammed into a small, 550-square-foot apartment, and the organizer was charged. Governor Phil Murphy addressed the situation during a Saturday press conference regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
"Last night, Ewing Township Police broke up a party with 47 people - including a DJ - crammed into a 550-square foot apartment. The organizer was charged, as they should have been and deserved to be," he said.
Murphy also took to Twitter with the news, saying, "This is not a game. Stay home. Be smart."
He later took to the social media platform with a second tweet, warning New Jerseyans of the dangers of throwing parties while social distancing.
The tweet reads, "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."
The Mercer County Prosecutor's Office is handling the case, but no further information about the charges against the organizer was immediately available, Today reports.
Cases of coronavirus in New Jersey rose by 2,289 on Saturday, bringing the state total to 11,124. The death toll sits at 140, which Murphy addressed at the press conference.
"One hundred and forty invaluable, precious, unexpendable souls who are no longer with us in the Garden State because of this virus," he said.