Murphy stands by Oct. 18 deadline for N.J. school employees to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing

Published: Sep. 05, 2021

Gov. Phil Murphy insisted his administration is doing everything to protect students and teachers despite being questioned Sunday morning about his decision not to require proof of vaccination status or mandatory testing of teachers until later next month while children across the state have already returned to classrooms.

The governor responded to an editorial from The Star-Ledger while speaking on “Face the Nation” that argued Murphy shouldn’t wait until his imposed deadline of Oct. 18 for the mandate.

“Well, I would just respond to say that we are. Period,” Murphy said in response to being asked, “Why not use every weapon you have at your disposal now?”

Murphy continued: “Everyone in our school buildings will be masked: students, educators, staff — no exceptions.”

The governor also said there’s a “very high level of vaccination” among school staff, though he didn’t say how many school employees have been vaccinated.

“We think that timeframe is a realistic one,” Murphy said about the Oct. 18 deadline.

People who opt out of getting vaccinated will be tested once to twice weekly “at minimum,” the governor said when he announced the mandate late last month. It’s for preschool through grade 12 schools.

Earlier in August, Murphy said the state will require students and staff members in preschool through 12th grade to wear masks at the start of the new academic year.

“We think that package of steps is what we need to have a safe environment because we desperately need to get our kids back in person, back into school and we are confident we can achieve that,” Murphy said on “Face the Nation.”

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published this page in News and Politics 2021-09-06 03:41:54 -0700