Coronavirus: NJ governor mandates COVID-19 vaccines for state health care, other frontline workers

TRENTON, N.J. — Employees of certain state and private health care facilities, as well as other frontline workers, must soon be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or face multiple tests per week, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy mandated during a Monday news conference.

“I want to make perfectly clear ... that if we do not see significant increases in vaccination rates among the employees in these settings, we are ready and willing to require all staff to be vaccinated as a condition of their employment,” Murphy stated during the news conference.

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Roughly 77% of New Jersey residents over the age of 12 have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, CNBC reported citing U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures.

In a joint statement, Murphy and New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli cited increased transmissibility of the delta variant as a driving force behind the state’s COVID-19 cases “trending in the wrong direction,” prompting the mandate, the network reported.

According to NJ.com, the private facility settings impacted by the vaccination mandate include but are not limited to:

  • Long-term care and assisted-living facilities
  • County jails
  • Acute-care and specialty hospitals
  • Short-term and post-acute in-patient rehabilitation centers
  • Licensed behavioral health facilities
  • Home health agencies

Meanwhile, the outlet itemized the following state facilities affected by the order:

  • Ancora Psychiatric Hospital
  • Ann Klein Forensic Center
  • Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital
  • Trenton Psychiatric Hospital
  • Paramus Veterans Memorial Home
  • Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home
  • Vineland Veterans Memorial Home
  • Developmental centers
  • University Hospital
  • State correctional facilities
  • Juvenile Justice Commission facilities

Employees in those settings have until Sept. 7 for all employees to comply or face minimum COVID-19 testing once or twice per week, NJ.com reported.

“The spread of the delta variant and its widespread impacts are no longer something that we can look at casually,” Murphy said. “Almost every day we are receiving some new research note that shows this variant to be even more contagious and more deadly than previously thought. We also know that the surest way to end this pandemic is through vaccination.”

According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, New Jersey’s seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases reached 938 last week, or nearly 40% higher than the week-prior period.

More coronavirus pandemic coverage:

>> Coronavirus: How long between exposure to the virus and the start of symptoms?

>> What are your chances of coming into contact with someone who has COVID-19? This tool will tell you

>> How to not let coronavirus pandemic fatigue set in, battle back if it does


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