“We’re going in the right direction but we’re not there yet,” was the message from the Governor’s Office today, October 18th, the first day a new state requirement takes effect requiring all school employees and all state workers too, both full-time and part-time, to show proof of vaccination or submit to one or two COVID tests a week. The in-school mask mandate remains in effect. Both mandates apply to all preschool–12th grade staff members at public (including charter and renaissance), private, and parochial schools.
Parimal Garg, the chief counsel in Gov. Phil Murphy’s office, said unvaccinated school workers who do not comply with testing “will be disciplined according to agreements between their union and their school district.”
During this last month, NJ school districts, says nj.com, reported “at least 96 in-school outbreaks,” for a total of 521 cases. “Outbreaks” in schools are defined as three or more cases that are determined through contact tracing to have been transmitted between staff or students while at school. They do not include total cases among staff and students. There have been 27 new outbreaks since last week.
A group called “Freedom Loving Teachers of New Jersey,” along with some other aligned groups, led protests in Trenton today against vaccination and mask mandates in schools. See coverage here.