Todd Christie told the New Jersey Globe that he tested positive for Covid after an indoor party he hosted led to a one day closure of a Mendham Township Middle School, but disputed a characterization that it was a superspreader event.
The Mendham school switched to virtual learning earlier this month after reports of positive Covid tests for attendees at a B’nai Mitzvah party Christie, the brother of former Gov. Chris Christie, threw for two of his children.
Christie said that seven of the ten people who tested positive after the party were members of his family.
“Besides myself, my wife and our kids, there were, 2 adults and 1 child positive,” Christie said in a direct message on Twitter. “10 people out of 176.”
The former governor’s brother said the school’s decision to shut down in-person learning for a day was done in an abundance of caution and downplayed the effect of his party on the decision.
“They went virtual one day because of all the middle school kids that were there, not the positives,” said Christie.
The party was held at Avenue A, a club in Newark. According to Christie, just 5.7% of the people there tested positive, although it’s not clear if he surveyed each of his guests.
Still, many of the guests were unmasked at the indoor party, the New Jersey Globe has learned. By Christie’s account, his immediate family accounted for 70% of those who reported testing positive for Covid.
Christie did not say whether he and members of his immediate family were vaccinated, but acknowledged that he, his wife and his five children tested positive.
The superintendent of schools, Dr. Salvatore M. Constantino, announced on September 16 that the middle school would close the following day, a Friday. Late the next evening, he notified parents that the school was set to reopen on Monday morning.
Christie said the New Jersey Globe story was “laced with inaccuracies,” including the description of the party as a Bar Mitzvah.
“It was a B’nai Mitzvah,” Christie explained about the Jewish tradition that starts the journey to adulthood. B’nai Mitzvah is the plural of Bar Mitzvah; Christie has two sons.
Christie’s comments came nearly two weeks after the NJ Globe and other media outlets reported the closing of the Mendham school.
“When writing about a family, it’s always nice to get it right,” Christie told the NJ Globe. “Just stinks.”