Warren County Commissioner James Kern issues statement on court’s decision on correctional police vaccine mandate
WARREN COUNTY, NJ – Warren County Commissioner James Kern III issued the following statement in response to the New Jersey Appellate Court’s Ruling in favor of Governor Murphy’s vaccine mandate.
Executive Order 283 eliminated the weekly testing option for employees in “high-risk congregate settings” and mandates vaccination. Congregate settings include county correctional facilities and those employees will have until February 16th to get their first dose and March 30th to complete the vaccination process.
“I am disappointed by the Court’s ruling today.” Kern said. “As I have said in the past, Warren County has managed our facility for the past 20 months effectively which includes before the vaccine was created and distributed. This order selectively mandates the vaccine for our correctional police officers and remains silent on inmates. What is most remarkable is that the Governor is releasing inmates from prison at this exact moment rather than mandating the vaccine for them like he has done for corrections staff,” Kern said.
“The Warren County Correctional Facility, which also provides services to Hunterdon County, has a vaccination rate of 41% for correctional police officers and only 20% for current inmates. The Warren County Health Department has offered vaccine information sessions to employees as well provide opportunities to receive the shot. At Warren County’s February 8th meeting, the Commissioners voted unanimously to join the Police Benevolent Association litigation should an appeal be filed,” Kern said.
“We will be assessing this situation over the next few days and will proceed accordingly should the PBA pursue further litigation,” Kern said.