TRENTON, N.J. - Governor Phil Murphy announced Monday that all workers in certain state and private health care facilities and high-risk congregate settings will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
If they are not vaccinated, they will be subject to COVID-19 testing at a minimum of one to two times per week.
Officials say the new requirement will help increase protection against the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta variant.
"While reaching our statewide vaccination goal has so far dampened the impact of the Delta variant in New Jersey, some of our most vulnerable populations remain at risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19 primarily due to exposure to unvaccinated individuals," said Governor Murphy. "We are taking this step today because it has been proven time and time again that vaccines save lives and are our way out of this pandemic. Individuals in health care facilities should have confidence in their caretakers, and this measure will help ensure peace of mind for those in higher-risk settings. And we are prepared to consider additional measures if we do not see a satisfactory increase in vaccination uptake in those settings as this new requirement is put into effect."
Health care facilities and other settings covered by the requirement will have until September 7 for all employees to come into full compliance with the vaccine mandate.
At that time, if workers in the facility or setting have not demonstrated that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the establishment will be required to have a plan in place to begin a testing program for those workers.
"Vaccination is the best tool we have to end this pandemic," said New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. "None of us would want our vulnerable loved ones put at further risk due to their caregiver or healthcare provider. Ensuring these individuals are fully vaccinated or have been tested will help protect those who live in these congregate settings or need hospital care."
According to the CDC’s Data Tracker, ‘substantial’ transmission means there have been 50-99.99 total new cases per 100,000 persons in the last seven days.