NEW JERSEY – All health care workers in certain state facilities will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have to take a COVID-19 test at minimum one to two times per week, Governor Phil Murphy announced.
Murphy hopes this mandate will help increase protection against the spread of COVID-19, including the highly transmissible Delta variant, to those who are vulnerable and have been hardest hit during the pandemic.
“While reaching our statewide vaccination goal has so far dampened the impact of the Delta variant in New Jersey, some of our most vulnerable populations remain at risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19 primarily due to exposure to unvaccinated individuals,” Murphy said. “We are taking this step today because it has been proven time and time again that vaccines save lives and are our way out of this pandemic. Individuals in health care facilities should have confidence in their caretakers, and this measure will help ensure peace of mind for those in higher-risk settings. And we are prepared to consider additional measures if we do not see a satisfactory increase in vaccination uptake in those settings as this new requirement is put into effect.”
“Vaccination is the best tool we have to end this pandemic,” New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. “None of us would want our vulnerable loved ones put at further risk due to their caregiver or healthcare provider. Ensuring these individuals are fully vaccinated or have been tested will help protect those who live in these congregate settings or need hospital care.”
All workers in certain state and private health care facilities and high-risk congregate settings will have until September 7 for all employees to be fully compliant with the vaccine mandate. Facilities whose workers are not fully vaccinated by that time are required to begin a testing program for non-vaccinated staff.
Facilities that have already stated a policy requiring employees to be fully vaccinated as a condition of employment without a testing alternative will not be altered.
Private facilities are strongly encouraged to consider instituting requirements above and beyond the baseline that will be required by the State.
Impacted state settings include:
- 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
Impacted private facility settings include, but are not limited to:
- Long-term care and assisted-living facilities
- County jails
- Acute-care hospitals and specialty hospitals
- Short-term and post-acute in-patient rehabs
- Licensed behavioral health facilities
- Home health agencies