Following recent updates to COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in advance of the 2022-23 school year, Gov. Phil Murphy has signed an executive order lifting the requirement that school districts, child care settings and state contractors maintain a policy that requires their unvaccinated workers to undergo routine testing.
The change will apply to school districts and child care settings immediately, and to state contractors as of Sept 1, according to a press release from the Governor’s office.
As of June 17, anyone age 6 months or older is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, more than 18.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in New Jersey, with more than 1.9 million doses having been administered to children under the age of 18, according to the press release.
“This executive order follows guidance from public health officials at the CDC regarding responsible steps states can take as we continue to adjust to the endemic reality of COVID-19,” Murphy said.
“With children as young as 6 months old now eligible for vaccines and millions of New Jerseyans vaccinated and boosted, more of our residents are safe from severe illness due to COVID-19.
“As always, I encourage everyone to stay up to date on their vaccination and to take other precautions as necessary to protect themselves and their loved ones from this virus,” Murphy said.
Murphy’s Aug. 15 executive order lifts the testing requirements that were put into place for school districts, child care settings and state contractors via previous executive order numbers 253, 264 and 271, respectively.
Nothing in the Aug. 15 order prevents the directors of those settings from maintaining a vaccination policy or a testing policy as they see fit going forward, according to the press release.
Schools and child care facilities will still be required to report vaccination and testing data to the Department of Health, as per Executive Directive No. 21-011, to allow the state to continue to monitor COVID-19 and to make data-driven decisions to keep residents safe, according to the press release.
Covered workers in congregate care, healthcare and correctional facility settings will still be required to be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, including the first booster dose, as per prior executive orders, according to the press release.
Separate of Murphy’s Aug. 15 executive order, the New Jersey state employee testing program will also come to an end on Sept 1.