Police in New Jersey broke up a “Corona Party” with nearly 50 attendees on Friday night, prompting the state’s governor to slam the get-together as “illegal, dangerous, and stupid.”
Gov. Phil Murphy wrote on Twitter Saturday that the Ewing Township Police Department was called to a 550-square foot apartment to break up a party with 47 people present, including a DJ.
“The organizer was charged, as they should have been and deserved to be,” the governor wrote. “This is not a game. Stay home. Be smart.”
Murphy, who has encouraged residents to practice social distancing in order to flatten the curve, followed up hours later, doubling down on his disgust with the party, which violated an executive order he issued on March 16.
“Can’t believe I have to say this at all, let alone for the second time. But here we are. NO CORONA PARTIES,” he wrote. “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 Ewing Police Department said in a release that they received an anonymous call about a party on Friday night, and arrived to find a “large gathering” inside a rented apartment.
The renter, 47-year-old Wade Jackson had allegedly dubbed the get-together a “Corona Party,” and was issued summonses for obstructing administration of law or other governmental function and a violation of emergency and temporary acts. Jackson did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Murphy’s executive order banned all gatherings, including parties, celebrations and other social events, and ordered all restaurants to limit themselves to delivery or take-out only. It also closed schools indefinitely, and put a curfew in place from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. for non-essential businesses.
New Jersey has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus, and as of Monday morning, had 13,386 confirmed cases and 161 deaths attributed to the virus, second only to New York, according to The New York Times.
Still, it’s not the only state in which governors have had to publicly slam corona-themed parties.
Last week, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said that at least one of the state’s cases originated at a “coronavirus party” of adults in their 20s.
“This is the part where I, the person that tells everybody to be calm, have to remain calm myself. Because anyone who goes to something like this may think that they are indestructible, but it’s someone else’s loved one that they are going to hurt,” he said, according to the Courier Journal. “Don’t be so callous as to intentionally go to something and expose yourself to something that can kill other people. We ought to be so much better than that.”
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