NJ Gov. Murphy mandates vaccines for state health care and other frontline workers

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy speaks at a press conference after touring the Covid-19 vaccination center at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison, New Jersey on January 15, 2021.

Mark Kauzlarich | Bloomberg | Getty Images

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy ordered vaccines for a variety of frontline workers at a news conference Monday, setting a September 7 deadline for healthcare workers and prisons.

Murphy added that employees who fail to get vaccinated must have regular coronavirus tests up to twice a week. The mandate applies to all employees in New Jersey’s hospitals, correctional facilities and assisted living centers.

“I want to make it perfectly clear that we are ready and willing to require all employees to be vaccinated as a condition of their employment unless we see a significant increase in vaccination rates among employees at these facilities,” Murphy said at the news conference.

Murphy’s latest move comes less than a week after he made a statement recommending vaccinated and unvaccinated citizens to wear masks in indoor public spaces where there is an increased chance of contracting the coronavirus. Citing Covid cases that “tend in the wrong direction”, Murphy and Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli stated in a statement that the increased portability of the Delta variant was a decisive factor in the consultation.

Murphy originally lifted the New Jersey mask mandate with an executive order on the 24. In his order, Murphy also removed corporate social distancing requirements and capacity limits for indoor gatherings.

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo, one of Murphy’s frequent contributors to Covid protocols, ordered vaccines for the state’s transport workers this morning, just days after issuing a similar mandate for state hospital workers.

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that the average of seven-day coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 938 last week, a nearly 38% increase from the previous week. The CDC reports that 77% of New Jersey residents over 12 years of age have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine.

CNBC’s Nate Rattner contributed to this coverage.

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