NEW JERSEY – Governor Phil Murphy Monday signed Executive Order No. 264, requiring all child care center personnel to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 1 or be subject to COVID-19 testing at minimum one to two times per week.
Additionally, effective September 24, and in accordance with CDC recommendations, the Order also clarifies that all employees, visitors, students, and children aged two and over must wear facemasks indoors, with limited exceptions. These requirements will strengthen protections against COVID-19 to children in these settings who are all under 12 years old and not yet eligible for vaccination.
“We know there are already many child care providers who are doing their utmost to protect the children in their care, their employees, and their communities – and we thank them,” Murphy said. “This order ensures that everyone is abiding by the same strong standards to protect those who are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations, so that we can continue to offer safe, in-person learning environments for children of all ages.”
For purposes of Executive Order No. 264, child care settings include:
- Any facility defined as a child care center pursuant to N.J.S.A. 30:5B-3.
For purposes of Executive Order No. 264, child care personnel include:
- All individuals employed by the covered setting, both full- and part-time, including, but not limited to, administrators, teachers, individuals providing food, custodial, and administrative support services, contractors, providers, and any other individuals performing work in covered settings whose job duties require them to make regular visits to such covered settings, including volunteers.
Covered workers do not include individuals who visit the covered setting only to provide one-time or limited-duration repairs, services, or construction.
All child care centers will have until November 1, 2021 to come into full compliance with the vaccine or testing requirement. At that time, if a worker has not submitted proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the worker will be required to submit to a minimum once to twice weekly testing. Regardless of whether the setting is providing workers with on-site access to testing or requiring workers to submit proof of a COVID-19 test, both antigen and molecular tests will be acceptable to fulfill the requirements of the Order.
Workers are considered “fully vaccinated” for COVID-19 two weeks or more after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks or more after they have received a single-dose vaccine. Individuals will only be considered fully vaccinated when they have received a COVID-19 vaccine that is currently authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization, or that are approved for use by the same. Workers for whom vaccination status is unknown or who have not provided sufficient proof of document, must be considered unvaccinated for purposes of this Order.
This Order will not impact a child care center’s ability to impose more stringent vaccination or testing requirements on workers, including any requirement for more frequent testing, for testing of both vaccinated and unvaccinated staff, and for mandatory vaccinations without a testing alternative.