coronavirus vaccine

Healthcare and Congregate Setting Workers Must Be Vaccinated by Sept. 7, Murphy Says

Today at his 213th COVID-19 briefing since March 2020, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that all employees in healthcare facilities and other high risk congregate settings must either be fully vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing, with full compliance required by Sept. 7. Other businesses in the private sector “may” implement the same requirements.

“Regardless of the numbers, we have always come [to these briefings] with a sense of optimism,” Murphy said. “If we all pull together and do the things that we all need to do, we will emerge stronger and more resilient than ever. This is one of those times.”

Murphy said that the standard announced today is the “absolute floor,” and that his administration is reviewing all available resources to set aggressive testing standards in the state’s high-risk settings.

“To be clear, we retain the ability and the authority to go further if we do not see any significant increases in vaccination rates within this worker population,” Murphy said. We are ready and willing to require all staff to be vaccinated as a condition of their employment.”

Murphy said that while the policy specifically impacts the healthcare facilities and congregate living settings listed, “There is nothing stopping any employer from implementing at least as rigorous a policy.”

Health care facilities and other settings covered by the requirement will have until Sept. 7 for all employees to come into full compliance with the vaccine mandate. At that time, if workers in the facility/setting have not demonstrated that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the entity will be required to have a plan in place to begin a testing program for those workers.

Impacted state settings include:

  • Ancora Psychiatric Hospital
  • Ann Klein Forensic Center
  • Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital
  • Trenton Psychiatric Hospital
  • Paramus Veterans Memorial Home
  • Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home
  • Vineland Veterans Memorial Home
  • Developmental Centers
  • University Hospital
  • State correctional facilities
  • Juvenile Justice Commission Facilities

Impacted private facility settings include, but are not limited to:

  • Long-term care and assisted-living facilities
  • County jails
  • Acute-care hospitals and specialty hospitals
  • Short-term and post-acute in-patient rehabs
  • Licensed behavioral health facilities
  • Home health agencies

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