NEW JERSEY (PIX11) — Mandatory and routine COVID-19 testing is no longer required for many unvaccinated employees in New Jersey’s school and child care facilities. This comes after Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order on Monday.

The executive order also applies to state contractors. Murphy said the decision was made following the CDC’s recent update to its own COVID-19 rules ahead of the upcoming school year.

In support of the move, Murphy said, as of mid-June, vaccines have been available for anyone aged six months or older, so protections against severe illness are available to residents. He urged people to get the vaccine.

The executive order is set take effect for workers in school districts and child care settings immediately. It will apply to state contractors starting on Sept. 1.

“This has not gone away but we have to learn to live with it and this is a step in that direction,” Murphy said in an interview with News 12 New Jersey on Monday. “Our positivity levels continue to be low double-digits, meaning that 10 to 15 percent of folks that are getting tested are turning up positive. Thankfully hospitalizations have come down under 1,000.”