TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Workers at New Jersey’s state-run and some private health care facilities and high-risk congregate-living centers must get a COVID-19 vaccine or undergo regular testing for the virus, Gov. Phil Murphy mandated on Monday.
Murphy, a Democrat running for reelection this year, said the change would likely affect “many thousands” of workers, but couldn’t specify how many.
The requirement comes as new cases, particularly involving the contagious delta variant, are climbing in the state and elsewhere in the country.
Murphy’s order affects about a dozen state-run facilities, including the three Veterans Affairs homes, state correctional facilities and those run by the Juvenile Justice Commission.
The private facilities affected include long-term care facilities like nursing homes, along with county jails, acute-care hospitals and licensed behavioral health centers.
“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,” Murphy said.
New Jersey’s seven-day rolling average of new cases has risen over the past two weeks from nearly 409 on July 17 to 938 on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.