Home>Governor>Murphy executive order ends testing requirements for school employees, state contractors

Gov. Phil Murphy at the groundbreaking for the New Portal North Bridge, August 1, 2022. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe).

Murphy executive order ends testing requirements for school employees, state contractors

State employee testing program will also end September 1

By Joey Fox, August 15 2022 11:42 am

Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order today nixing mandates that unvaccinated school employees, child care workers, and workers under state contracts undergo weekly testing, following recent CDC guidance advising the loosening of Covid restrictions.

The order goes into effect immediately for school and child care workers – just a few weeks before the school year begins – and on September 1 for state contractors. Murphy separately said that the state employee testing program will end on September 1.

“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,” Murphy said in a statement. “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.”

Murphy’s decision to lift the mandates comes approximately a year after most of them were first announced. In the late summer and early fall of 2021, with vaccines fully available and Covid infections happening primarily among the unvaccinated, the Murphy administration implemented vaccine-or-test mandates in a number of settings, as well as several mask mandates that have since ended.

Last Thursday, the CDC issued guidance removing the recommendation that school employees and students be tested regularly for Covid. Having protested Murphy’s orders since they first began, several New Jersey Republicans immediately used the new guidance to push for an end to the state’s remaining mandates.

“It’s been clear for some time that forcing healthy teachers and school employees to submit to burdensome and expensive COVID testing was unnecessary,” State Sen. Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa) said on Thursday. “Now that the CDC has changed its guidance, Governor Murphy has absolutely no excuse to continue dragging his feet on lifting his testing mandate. He should do it today.”

Murphy evidently agreed, though some similar testing mandates remain for employees in health care, congregate living, and correctional facilities.

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