NJ child care workers must get COVID vaccine or face regular tests, Murphy announces
The order covers all employees of child care facilities, and mirrors the ones currently in place for teachers, healthcare workers, and state employees. It takes effect Nov. 1.
The latest a second dose of Moderna or Pfizer, or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, can be received to be considered fully vaccinated by the deadline is Oct. 17.
A similar rule went into effect for teachers ahead of the new school year, and covers employees at public, private, and parochial schools, including pre-school through 12th grade. That mandate goes into effect Oct. 18.
The order also offers clarification on masking rules in non-school child care settings, and will require all employees, students over 2 years old, and visitors to wear face masks, Murphy said.
“We know there are already many child care providers who are doing their utmost to protect the children in their care, their employees, and their communities – and we thank them,” Murphy said at a coronavirus press briefing in Trenton. “This order ensures that everyone is abiding by the same strong standards.”
The new masking rules go into effect Friday.
Sen. Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex and chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, was a big proponent of mandating vaccination for child care workers.
”I am thankful that the governor is going to extend the same infection control protocols plus mask wearing to child care centers as he has with public schools,” Vitale said. “These children, their families and staff require the same protections as older learners and extended care givers. I am certain that this will encourage more families to send their children to daycare who have been reluctant to do so. It will also help centers that have seen a drop in enrollment.”
New Jersey reported 1,392 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 8 additional deaths on Monday, as schools around the state have reported hundreds of positive tests. At least one school district has been forced to switch to remote learning due to a high number of cases and student quarantines.
Staff writer Susan K. Livio contributed to this report.