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Avenue A, an event venue in Newark. (Photo: Avenue A).

Mendham school closes after Christie event linked to Covid cases

After September 11 Bar Mitzvah hosted by former governor’s brother, Mendham Middle School returns to virtual learning

By David Wildstein, September 17 2021 6:48 pm

The Mendham Township Middle School has gone virtual after a Covid outbreak traced to a Bar Mitzvah last weekend where several hundred people were largely unmasked indoors, the New Jersey Globe has confirmed from three separate sources.

“Oh what a night,” is how Todd J. Christie, the brother of the former governor of New Jersey, described his party at Avenue A in Newark on Facebook.

The event, held on September 11, led school officials to announce that they closed the local school on Friday and returned to virtual learning.

“Due to multiple positive Covid cases within our student population we will be going 100% virtual,” Patrick J. Ciccone, the school principal, wrote in an email to parents.  “We will provide more information throughout the weekend with regards to Monday’s academic configuration.

The school will reopen on Monday, the Superintendent, Dr. Salvatore M. Constantino confirmed.

“Thanks to your brother Todd’s super spreader event for his son, Mendham Twp MS is already going virtual,” said Richard Smith in a tweet targeting Chris Christie.  “Letting people continue to make their own personal decisions while putting others at risk doesn’t work.  You can’t even convince your immediate family.”

The Bar Mitzvah came two days after the former governor delivered a high-profile speech at the Reagan Presidential Library in California.

Chris Christie spent seven days in an intensive care unit in October after contracting Covid, likely at a White House event when President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Amy Comey Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Later, Christie said in national television ad that it was wrong to not wear a mask.

“This message isn’t for everyone. It’s for all those people who refuse to wear a mask. You know lying in isolation in ICU for seven days I thought about how wrong I was to remove my mask at the White House,” Christie said in the ad.  “You’re twice as likely to get Covid-19 if you don’t wear a mask. Because if you don’t do the right thing, we could all end up on the wrong side of history. Please wear a mask.”

This story was updated at 8:11 PM and at 8:54 PM. 

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