Ten days ago Gov. Phil Murphy issued an Executive Order stating that all staff and students must wear masks in school buildings. Now reports are breaking that on Monday, during his regular press briefing –or perhaps even sooner–Murphy will anounce a vaccine mandate for all NJ teachers.
It is unclear if this mandate will include instructional assistants, custodians, secretaries, bus drivers, and other school staff. It is also unclear if the mandate would allow teachers to submit to weekly COVID testing instead of showing proof of vaccinations.
The news was first reported by nj.com, which said that two sources claimed the announcement was “imminent.”
New Jersey Education Association spokesman Steve Baker said the union was getting ready for a vaccine mandate and would support it as long as employees could opt for frequent COVID-19 testing. “There is a wide range of public opinion out here on all of these issues,” Baker said. “Our greater concern is the public safety and public health side… what is going to allow our schools to be as safe and healthy as possible as we reopen.”
The Governor’s Office did not respond to requests for comment. Murphy is returning today from his vacation in Italy.