TRENTON, N.J. – Assemblyman Christopher DePhillips blasted the Murphy administration over their updated guidance for K-12 schools that excludes unvaccinated students from sports or extracurricular activities in areas where Covid-19 activity is very high.
The N.J. Department of Health’s isolation/quarantine guidance issued on Dec. 30 states that schools are to “limit participation in extracurricular activities to those students and staff with up-to-date Covid-19 vaccination.” It also recommends testing individuals who participate in such activities twice weekly.
“Taking away school sports and extracurricular activities from children who are Covid negative and have already sacrificed so much these past two years is harmful, irresponsible and completely misguided,” DePhillips (R-Bergen) said. “It is very clear that Governor Murphy and the state Health Department believe strong-arming parents into vaccinating healthy children so they can fully experience school by participating in sports and extracurricular activities is going to somehow make a meaningful dent in the number of Covid-19 cases; however, state data demonstrates that fully vaccinated individuals are still catching and transmitting the virus.”Nearly a third of Covid positive tests for the week ending Dec. 19 were among the fully vaccinated. To date, New Jersey has reported more than 91,000 breakthrough cases.“Parents, not Governor Murphy or Commissioner Persichilli, are the ones who get to make medical decisions for their children. Instead of benching and punishing kids who are not fully vaccinated, we should be encouraging participation in extracurricular activities, because we know how beneficial it is to a student’s physical and mental health and their development and success,” DePhillips added. “Our children’s best interests must be safeguarded, not exploited.”