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Murphy Lifts COVID Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Workers

by Matthew Fazelpoo,, NJ Biz

This story is being republished under a special NJ News Commons content-sharing agreement related to COVID-19 coverage. Link to story:

Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 332 June 12, which drops the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for employees in health care settings, effective immediately.

The EO follows last week’s announcement by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) that it will no longer require employees of health care providers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for that provider to be eligible to participate in Medicare and Medicaid.

The health care settings included in the order are:

  • Long-term facilities;
  • Psychiatric and specialty hospitals;
  • Long-term residential substance abuse disorder treatment facilities;
  • Clinic-based settings, such as Federally Qualified Health Centers and family planning sites; and
  • Community-based health care settings, such as pediatric and adult medical day care programs.

In April, Murphy signed EO No. 325, which lifted mandatory routine testing requirement for unvaccinated health care workers while also removing vaccine and testing requirements for workers in congregate settings.

The governor says that the order brings the state in line with current federal trends as COVID levels continue to drop.

“Today’s order aligns our state with recent updates to federal requirements and reflects our different circumstances now, as compared to the past few years. My administration will continue to take responsible steps to adjust New Jersey’s COVID-19 policies and guidance accordingly,” said Murphy in a press release. “COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and I continue to encourage all residents to stay up to date on their vaccinations. Vaccination remains a key public health tool to help protect our health care workers and the patients in their care.”

The governor’s office also notes that individual employers may continue to require vaccination or testing protocols that go beyond the statewide requirements.