All New Jersey school teachers and staff, as well as state employees, will be required to be vaccinated for COVID by Oct. 18 or undergo regular testing, Governor Murphy announced Monday.

Murphy’s executive order on schools covers all full-time and part-time employees at both public and private schools and includes teachers, administrators, support staff, food workers, custodial staff, administrative support and other school employees.

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“As the school year rapidly approaches, we are continuing to do all that we can to ensure as safe a start as possible,” Murphy said. “We know that strong masking and vaccination protocols in tandem with other safety measures are our best consolidated tool for keeping our schools open for full-time in-person instruction and our educational communities safe.”

The mandate also includes all state workers including “those at all state agencies, authorities, and public colleges and universities — whether they be full- or part-time, or contract employees,” Murphy said.

Anyone working at a hospital, long-term care center, prison or other state or private healthcare facility must be vaccinated by Sept. 7 or be subject to repeated COVID testing.

All 21 counties in New Jersey have been classified as having “high” rates of coronavirus transmission, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommends anyone living in an area of high transmission wear a mask in indoor public places, even if they’ve been vaccinated.

NJ’s seven-day average for newly confirmed positive tests is 1,628, which is nearly 9 percent higher than it was a week ago due in large part to the highly contagious Delta variant.

 

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