NJ mandating vaccines or weekly testing for employees at health care facilities, congregate settings


FILE – In this May 19, 2020, file photo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy wears a mask during his daily coronavirus news conference at the War Memorial in Trenton, N.J. A year after becoming a global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, New York and New Jersey are back atop the list of U.S. states with the highest rates of infection. Murphy said in recent days that he is hitting pause on further loosening of the rules because of New Jersey’s resurgence. (Chris Pedota/The Record via AP, Pool)

NEW JERSEY — As concerns over the rising number of COVID-19 cases grow nationwide, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday New Jersey is mandating vaccines or weekly testing for workers in certain health care facilities and other high-risk congregate settings.

“The delta variant is now working its way across our state,” Gov. Murphy said. Those impacted are particularly among the unvaccinated group.

Full compliance for the mandate is required by Sept. 7, according to the governor.

The vaccination or weekly testing mandate applies to the following employers: 

  • 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
  • Long-term care and assisted-living facilities
  • County jails
  • Acute-care hospitals and specialty hospitals
  • Short-term and post-acute inpatient rehabs
  • Licensed behavioral health facilities
  • Home health agencies

If vaccination rates in these settings do not increase, Gov. Murphy said the state has the ability and authority to go further and require all staff to be vaccinated as a condition of their employment.

“While this policy specifically impacts the health care facilities and congregate living settings,” Murphy said, “there is nothing stopping any employer from implementing, at least as rigorous, a policy.”

When asked if the mandate could contribute to the worker shortage, Murphy said “it might,” but “I think it’s fair to say we have no choice.

The announcement comes days after the Pres. Joe Biden announced federal workers would need to get vaccinated or face weekly testing.

New York State employees and New York City municipal have announced similar plans. Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced all new employees of the City of New York must get the COVID-19 vaccine before their first day on the job.

New Jersey reported 937 new COVID-19 cases, with a statewide positivity rate of 4.6%.

As of Monday morning, more than 5.3 million people who live, work or study in New Jersey are fully vaccinated, and a total of 10,505,407 doses have been administered.

The spread of the Delta variant is something that can no longer be looked at casually, according to the governor.

To ensure safety and an end to the pandemic, he urged everyone to get vaccinated.

Visit COVID19.nj.gov/finder to find a vaccination site near you.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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