Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order Monday lifting the requirement that school districts, child care settings, and state contractors maintain a policy requiring their unvaccinated workers undergo routine testing. The change will apply to school districts and child care settings immediately, and to state contractors as of September 1, 2022.
“Today’s executive order follows guidance from public health officials at the CDC regarding responsible steps states can take as we continue to adjust to the endemic reality of COVID-19,” said Governor Murphy. “With children as young as 6 months old now eligible for vaccines and millions of New Jerseyans vaccinated and boosted, more of our residents are safe from severe illness due to COVID-19. As always, I encourage everyone to stay up-to-date on their vaccination and take other precautions as necessary to protect themselves and their loved ones from this virus.”
This executive order lifts the testing requirements put into place for school districts, child care settings, and state contractors via previous executive orders. Nothing in thes order prevents these settings from maintaining a vaccination or testing policy as they see fit going forward.
Schools and child care facilities will still be required to report vaccination and testing data to the Department of Health, as per Executive Directive No. 21-011, to allow the State to continue to monitor COVID-19 and make data-driven decisions to keep residents safe.
Covered workers in congregate care, health care, and correctional facility settings will still be required to be up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, including the first booster dose, as per prior executive orders.
New Jersey’s state employee testing program will also come to an end on September 1, 2022.
Montclair mayor Sean Spiller, in his role as president of the New Jersey Education Association, called the decision a “major win.”
“We are at a moment where we can ease those restrictions and people can still report safely to work and educate our kids in person. That’s what we’ve wanted from the start, so it’s great news for us today,” said Spiller, who added that change would help retain and recruit new teachers.