Gov. Murphy departing New Jersey for vacation to Italy

Gov. Phil Murphy's office says the governor is heading to Italy for a family vacation.
Murphy owns a house in central Italy. He is expected to return to New Jersey on Aug. 19.
Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver will serve as acting governor while Murphy is out of New Jersey.
Gov. Murphy says he is not neglecting the spike in COVID-19 cases fueled by the delta variant by choosing to leave the country.
“I wouldn't be doing it if I felt otherwise, among other things I've got an extraordinary team, who will not miss a beat,” says Gov. Murphy. “I will be in touch not every day, but probably every few hours, if not more so, and I'm confident we can take this step."
The governor's Republican opponent, Jack Ciattarelli, is also out of the country. He is in Israel seeking to drum up business in New Jersey.
Election Day is less than three months away.
AP wire services helped contribute to this report.