TRENTON, N.J. - Governor Phil Murphy has announced Monday a vaccine or testing mandate for all teachers and staff at New Jersey schools.
As concerns over the surge of the Delta variant mount, officials nationwide have begun implementing mitigation efforts to slow and stop the spread.
All preschool through grade 12 school personnel will be required to be fully vaccinated by October 18th or undergo regular testing at a minimum of once to twice each week.
This new order will apply to apply to all public, private, and parochial schools including charter and renaissance schools.
It also encompasses all staff and teachers that work at schools regardless of whether or not they are employed full-time.
"I made this point a couple weeks ago, we're not going to sacrifice the health of our kids or staff and masking and vaccinations of both students and staff, along with a layered approach to safety is our top priority for starting the year," Gov. Murphy said.
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Gov. Murphy noted that while COVID-19 in numbers are not as severe as those seen during the spring, COVID-19 is still causing an "extreme toll" on healthcare workers in New Jersey.
He also announced that all state employees – including those at state agencies, authorities, and public colleges and universities – are required to complete a full vaccination course or undergo regular testing at a minimum of once to twice each week
As a result, Governor Murphy's announcement joins that of NYC in enforcing a vaccine mandate. Earlier Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter announce a new vaccine mandate that requires all public school teachers, staff and contractors to be vaccinated against COVID.
Also on Monday, the United States Food and Drug Administration announced the full approval of the Pfizer vaccine.
It now carries the strongest endorsement from the FDA, which has never before had so much evidence to judge a shot’s safety. More than 200 million Pfizer doses already have been administered in the U.S. — and hundreds of millions more worldwide — since emergency use began in December 2020.