Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order Aug. 15 lifting the requirement that school districts, childcare settings and state contractors maintain a policy requiring their unvaccinated workers undergo routine COVID-19 testing, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
The change will apply to school districts and childcare settings immediately, and to state contractors as of Sept. 1. It comes in the wake of updated COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Anyone 6 months or older is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 18.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in New Jersey, with those under 18 receiving more than 1.9 million doses.
“Today’s 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 take other precautions as necessary to protect themselves and their loved ones from this virus.”
This executive order lifts the testing requirements put into place for school districts, childcare settings and state contractors via previous executive order numbers 253, 264 and 271, respectively. Nothing in the order prevents these settings from maintaining a vaccination or testing policy as they see fit going forward.
Schools and childcare 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 make data-driven decisions to keep residents safe.
Covered workers in congregate care, health care 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.
Separate from the executive order, the New Jersey state employee testing program will come to an end Sept. 1.