Murphy orders full vaccination of school employees within two months — or mandatory testing

By David WildsteinAugust 23 2021 

New Jersey Globe

Gov. Phil Murphy. 

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Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Monday that all school employees must either be fully vaccinated by October 18 or submit to twice-a-week Covid tests.

The Star-Ledger first reported Murphy’s intention to sign an executive order.

Murphy said the order applies to all public, private, parochial and charter schools for pre-school through 12th grade.

“We do not believe that meeting this order will be especially hard to do,” Murphy said.  “We have received multiple local reports that point to an overwhelming majority of our educational and classroom leaders having already taken their personal responsibility.”

According to Murphy, “teachers in particular are extremely well vaccinated.”

“The numbers are very high,” he said.  “I think adjutants staff or is less so.”

Murphy noted in his weekly press briefing that there are 1,900 current pediatric Covid cases in the U.S. – triple the number from four weeks ago.

“If that weren’t enough that no kids, no students, or anybody under the age of 12 are yet eligible to be vaccinated and roughly only half of those older than 12 who were kids and students have been vaccinated and we will continue to educate students and parents on the importance of vaccination, especially for younger students,” he said.

The Republican candidate for governor, Jack Ciattarelli, quickly attacked Murphy’s plan.

“Governor Murphy’s announcement today is both hypocritical, and evidence that powerful Trenton special interests get to play by one set of rules, while the rest of us are forced to play by another set,” Ciattarelli said.  “Why is Governor Murphy willing to find common ground on a flexible vaccinate or test policy with the teacher’s union, but not willing to do the same with parents who oppose his mask mandate for K-12 students?”

Ciattarelli said that “average parents don’t run a powerful union that funneled $10 million in dark money to benefit the Governor’s campaign.”

“The NJEA did, so they get to cut a deal,” Ciattarelli alleged.  “Parents did not, so they are told what to do without any recourse.”

Murphy also announced that all state employees will also be required to either show proof of vaccinations for Covid for be tested once or twice a week.

This order will apply to all state agencies, authorities, public colleges and universities and will also carry the October 18 deadline.   Murphy had previously ordered vaccinations for state health care and correctional workers.

“We will work with our public sector union partners to see its successful implementation,” Murphy stated.

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published this page in News and Politics 2021-08-24 03:15:29 -0700