Governor Murphy Repeals Antiquated COVID-19 Testing for Unvaccinated Teachers, Public Contractors, State Workers

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TRENTON, NJ – As the COVID-19 pandemic winds down, the political science of COVID-19 is evolving. Today, Governor Phil Murphy rescinded his draconian order and discriminatory order to require unvaccinated public teachers and state contractors to be tested regularly for COVID-19.

But like most of Phil Murphy’s pandemic wind-downs, there’s a catch. The governor is allowing local districts and entities the opportunity to implement local COVID-19 testing procedures for the unvaccinated.

“Following recent updates to COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in advance of the upcoming school year, Governor Phil Murphy today signed an executive order lifting the requirement that school districts, child care settings, and state contractors maintain a policy requiring their unvaccinated workers undergo routine testing,” the Murphy administration announced today.

The change will apply to school districts and child care settings immediately, and to state contractors as of September 1, 2022.

“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,” said Governor Murphy. “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.”

According to a statement released today by the governor’s office, this executive order lifts the testing requirements put into place for school districts, child care settings, and state contractors via previous executive order numbers 253264, and 271, respectively.

“Nothing in today’s order prevents these settings from maintaining a vaccination or testing policy as they see fit going forward,” Murphy added.

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 make data-driven decisions to keep residents safe.

The order does not apply to healthcare professionals or correctional facility workers.

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.

State workers will also cease testing for COVID-19, according to the governor’s office.

Separate from today’s executive order, the New Jersey state employee testing program will also come to an end on September 1, 2022.

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