Governor Phil Murphy and other New Jersey officials were caught without a mask at a large indoor gathering last weekend.

Murphy was part of a large crowd gathered to celebrate the state's diversity at the Equality Ball, hosted by Garden State Equality and held indoors at the Asbury Lanes.

A photo posted by the Essex County Education Association showed Murphy among the large crowd. Few, if any, masks could be seen in the photo. That tweet has since been deleted, but the website SaveJeresy.com published a screenshot of it.

Other photos and tweets about the event also showed the large gathering going mostly maskless. They included New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone and Murphy's acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck.

The event was held in Monmouth County, which is listed by the CDC as having the highest risk of transmission on their online COVID data tracker. The CDC recommends masking up indoors in areas where there is high risk of community transmission, regardless of vaccination status.

CDC.gov

Murphy and Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli released guidelines last July urging residents to wear a mask indoors, in-line with the CDC recommendations.

Murphy and Persichilli recommended wearing masks when encountering:

• Crowded indoor settings
• Indoor settings involving activities with close contact with others who may not be fully vaccinated
• Indoor settings where the vaccine status of other individuals in the setting is unknown
• Where an individual is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease

Murphy did not send out any tweets from the Equality Ball, but instead posted a produced video honoring New Jersey's diversity.

However, most photos Murphy has tweeted out shows him masked up at indoor events he has attended in recent months.  Most of those events had far fewer people than were in attendance at the event in Asbury Park.

As he urged all state residents to mask up in July, Murphy said, "We feel the best course of action is to strongly encourage every New Jerseyan, and every visitor to our state, to take personal responsibility and mask up indoors when prudent."

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