BREAKING: Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order to Lift COVID-19 Testing Requirements in Congregate Care and Health Care Settings

Governor Phil Murphy today signed an executive order lifting COVID-19 testing requirements for health care and congregate settings.

Today’s executive order rescinds testing requirements put into place via prior executive orders for employees who were not up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations in both settings. The executive order also lifts vaccination requirements for employees in congregate care settings.

Employees of health care settings will still be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination in accordance with EO 294 to protect the higher risk populations that they serve, which is supported by the federal government continuing vaccination requirements for most Medicare and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers.

“With vaccines and treatments available to help combat the effects of this virus and our state maintaining lower rates of key metrics, New Jersey can continue to take steps to responsibly lift COVID-19 mitigation protocols,” said Governor Murphy.

“In line with federal recommendations, today’s executive order will keep certain safety measures in place to protect vulnerable individuals in health care settings while lifting others in recognition of the progress we have made in combating this virus since the height of the pandemic. As always, I encourage all residents to stay up-to-date on their vaccinations and take other precautions as necessary to protect themselves and their communities.”

The order follows the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which advises that routine screening is no longer recommended in certain high-risk settings, and that risk-based assessments help inform COVID-19 mitigation and response strategies. It also recognizes COVID-19 vaccination rates and the availability of other treatments, which allowed the State to avoid a significant winter surge of hospitalizations and severe illness from COVID-19.

At this time, over 20 million primary and booster doses have been administered in New Jersey and more than 8 million residents have received at least one vaccine dose.

Congregate care settings include correctional facilities, group homes and day programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and certain licensed psychiatric community homes. Health care settings include, but are not limited to, long-term care facilities; psychiatric and specialty hospitals; long-term residential substance abuse disorder treatment facilities; clinic-based setting 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.

Individual employers may continue to require vaccination or testing protocols in excess of these statewide requirements.

This executive order takes effect immediately.

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