By: Ana Altchek, Follow South Jersey Contributing Writer
SOUTH JERSEY — Governor Murphy signed an executive order lifting routine COVID-19 testing requirements for unvaccinated workers in select settings recently.
The order lifts testing requirements in school districts and child care settings beginning September 1, 2022. It also removes testing requirements for state contractors. The latest executive order reverses executive orders 253, 264 and 271, which required routine testing for unvaccinated employees in the following institutions.
Even with the new order signed, these settings can still maintain vaccination and testing policies as they see necessary going forward. It will no longer be state mandated though. This also does not impact the requirement for schools and child-care facilities to report vaccination and testing data to the Department of Health. This is required in effort to continue to allow the State to monitor COVID-19 rates and data for the safety of New Jersey residents.
Masked workers in congregate care, health care, and correctional facility environments will still be required to get COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.
Murphy signed the order in response to the end of the pandemic era as more institutions opened back up in person and life resumed to normalcy for most of the world. Despite the recent spike in cases due to the latest omicron, BA.4 and BA.5 variants, the risk remains low as most patients report mild and non-life-threatening symptoms.
In the press release announcing the new order, Governor Murphy noted that the policy change follows guidance from public health officials at the CDC regarding responsible steps that states can take as the country continues to adjust to the endemic reality of COVID-19.
Murphy also reminds the public that children as young as six months are officially eligible for vaccines and millions of New Jersey residents are currently vaccinated and boosted. This contributes to the overall population’s safety from severe illness due to COVID-19 infection.
“As always, I encourage everyone to stay up-to-date on their vaccination and take other precautions as necessary to protect themselves and their loved ones from this virus,” Murphy said.
For more information on New Jersey COVID-19 statistics or vaccine information, please visit https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_dashboard.shtml or https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/vaccine. Also, continue to FollowSouthJersey to receive the latest information on COVID updates and happenings in the local area.
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