New Jersey lawmakers call for ending COVID testing of unvaccinated school staff as state prepares back-to-school guidelines

New Jersey lawmakers are calling on Gov. Phil Murphy to end a year-old order requiring school district employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested for the virus weekly. increase. upcoming school year.

Republican State Senator Christine Collard, who represents Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic counties, wrote to Murphy last week, writing: [of] School employees who have not been vaccinated and do not know what to expect about weekly COVID tests.

“I have spoken to voters in education who are worried that not only will they be forced to take unnecessary and redundant weekly tests, but they will also be behind on their bills. August is “pushy” and “not needed anymore.” In May, Corrado and Republican Senator Tony Bucco introduced legislation to remove the testing requirement for New Jersey school workers who have not been vaccinated.

Free at-home COVID tests are available through state and federal governments, with numerous free testing locations open statewide.

» Read more: Why BA.5 is not a super virus and why a vaccine is still the best option against COVID

In a statement, a Murphy spokesperson said, “The administration is currently reviewing COVID-related protocols and procedures within the school in preparation for the upcoming school year.”

The New Jersey Department of Health did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

Corrado’s letter came as the district prepared to resume classes in the fall. A year that saw mandatory masking, virtual schooling over and over again, and other COVID protocols while various virus variants proliferated. The CDC made final approval of her COVID vaccine for children from age 5 to her 11 in November 2021.

About 80% of school workers are vaccinated, according to New Jersey Department of Health COVID data self-reported by school district.

» Read more: Most NJ teachers vaccinated 3 months after Governor Murphy’s order

For the 2021-22 school year, Garden State guidelines require that public and private school staff (including teachers, administrators, support staff, and substitute teachers) be fully vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 once or twice a week. I had to get tested. Guidelines required students and teachers to wear masks indoors and while on buses through March, but some districts, including Camden, have decided to maintain the requirement for the rest of the year. selected.

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