New Jersey requires child care workers to be fully immunized by November 1
New Jersey nursery nurses are due to receive Covid-19 vaccines by November 1 or undergo weekly testing under an executive order from Gov. Phil Murphy said he plans to sign on Monday, joining a handful of cities that have mandates extended to the child care industry.
Under the order, New Jersey child care workers and employees are expected to receive their second dose by Oct. 17 or face the alternative of a weekly test, the governor during a press briefing.
Day care centers for children aged 2 and over, including schools, are also subject to a mask warrant, effective September 24, he added.
There are 20,000 female educators in New Jersey, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
It was not immediately clear whether the ordinance also applied to charter and private schools and what percentage of staff in daycares under the new mandate had been vaccinated.
Governor Murphy’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“It does not bring us any joy,” the governor said at a briefing, “but it is the right thing to do.”
Last month, New Jersey ordered K-12 teachers and staff and state employees to be fully immunized against COVID-19 by mid-October or undergo testing regular once or twice a week. About seven in ten people in the state have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to New York Times‘Covid Tracker. The death toll from the virus in the state averaged 20 per day last week, up more than 30% from the previous 14 days, the tracker showed.
New Jersey joins a growing list of states requiring child care workers to be vaccinated. DC also issued a vaccination warrant for daycare workers with the same schedule as New Jersey on Monday, while New York City ordered all daycare and after-school workers under contract with the city to receive at minus one dose of vaccination by the end of that month. Two states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, ordered all teachers to be immunized, and teachers in seven states were scheduled to be immunized or tested regularly, on September 20, according to EducationWeek.
Not everyone agrees with vaccination mandates. A group of Catholic and Baptist healthcare professionals filed a lawsuit in New York City last week opposing the application of vaccines to healthcare workers on religious grounds. A series of public employees and medical workers have sued states and local governments over Covid-19 policies. Following the trial in New York, a federal judge sided with the plaintiffs and temporarily suspended the state from enforcing the order on those who refuse to be vaccinated on religious grounds.
DC demands coronavirus vaccines for public and private school staff and daycare workers without testing option (Washington Post)
Group of Catholic and Baptist medical workers sue to end New York’s vaccination mandate (Forbes)