NJ drops COVID-19 testing mandate for unvaccinated school, childcare workers

Gov. Phil Murphy at a press conference this summer
Gov. Phil Murphy at a press conference this summer. Photo credit Adam Monacelli / USA TODAY NETWORK

TRENTON (WCBS 880) -- New Jersey on Monday lifted its requirement that unvaccinated workers in school districts and childcare settings be routinely tested for COVID-19.

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Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order that ends the testing mandate, effective immediately.

The mandate will also end for unvaccinated state contractors starting Sept. 1, the same day the state employee testing program will end.

In dropping the mandate, Murphy cited recent updates to COVID-19 guidance for schools from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as COVID-19 vaccine eligibility for kids as young as 6 months old.

“More of our residents are safe from severe illness due to COVID-19,” the governor 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 noted that individual districts and daycares can still mandate their own testing or vaccination policies.

Schools and childcare facilities will still be required to report vaccination and testing data to the state Department of Health so that officials can make “data-driven decisions to keep residents safe,” Murphy said.

Covered workers in congregate care, health care and correctional facility settings will still be required to be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, including the first booster dose, the governor said.