ATTENTION NEW JERSEY: Click to end discriminatory COVID-19 mandate for first responders

Our Stand: At-A-Glance

  • Governor Murphy declared a public health emergency in New Jersey initially on March 9, 2020, via executive order 103.
  • On August 23, 2021, Murphy signed executive order 253 titled, “Instituting Vaccination or Testing Requirement for All Preschool to Grade 12 Personnel and for All State Workers.” 
  • On March 5, 2022, Governor Phil Murphy announced the signing of Executive Order No. 292, which lifted the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declared in executive order 280. However, the state of emergency declared in executive order 103 remained in place to “ensure that the State continues to have necessary resources as COVID-19 is managed on an endemic level.”  Also stated in executive order 292, is that executive order 252 (Directs Vaccination or Testing Requirement for Workers in Health Care Facilities and High-Risk Congregate Settings), along with seven other executive orders, “remain in full force and effect pursuant to the Disaster Control Act, N.J.S.A. App. A:9-33 et seq.”
  • On January 29, 2022, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 283 which states that employees of “congregate & health care settings” are required to be boosted to “combat waning immunity,” requiring that health care settings maintain policy that would require their healthcare professionals/corrections officers to be considered up to date on the COVID-19 vaccination. EO 283 also states that the policy reflect that the vaccine-free “continue undergoing once or twice weekly testing until they submit adequate proof that they are up to date with their vaccination.”
  • As per EO 252, “High-risk congregate settings include State and county correctional facilities; all congregate care settings operated by the Juvenile Justice Commission, which includes secure care facilities and residential community homes; licensed community residences for individuals with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (“IDD”) and traumatic brain injury (“TBI”); licensed community residences for adults with mental illness; certified day programs for individuals with IDD and TBI, and group homes and psychiatric community homes licensed by DCF.”
  • As per EO 252, “Health care settings shall include acute, pediatric, inpatient rehabilitation, and psychiatric hospitals, including specialty hospitals, and ambulatory surgical centers; long-term care facilities; intermediate care facilities; residential detox, short term, and long-term residential substance abuse disorder treatment facilities; clinic-based settings like ambulatory care, urgent care clinics, dialysis centers, Federally Qualified Health Centers, family planning sites, and Opioid Treatment Programs; community-based healthcare settings including Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, pediatric and adult medical day care programs, and licensed home health agencies and registered health care service firms operating within the State.”
  • For purposes of Executive Order 283, “a covered worker shall be considered “up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations” if they have received a primary series, which consists of either a 2-dose series of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or a single dose COVID-19 vaccine, and any booster doses for which they are eligible as recommended by the CDC.”
  • On February 14, 2022, bill A2585 that “Prohibits discrimination against corrections workers, first responders, and health care workers who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine or booster, sponsored by:  Assemblywoman Beth Sawyer (District 3) & Co-Sponsored by: Assemblyman Parker Space (District 24), Assemblyman Harold Wirths (District 24), Assemblywoman Marilyn Piperno (District 11), & Assemblywoman Kim Eulner (District 11)” was introduced.
  • On March 3, 2022, bill S1973 was introduced to “Prohibit discrimination against corrections workers, first responders, and health care workers who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine or booster” sponosored by: Senator Ed Durr (District 3) & Senator Michael Testa (District 1).
  • On August 11, 2022, the CDC updated their COVID-19 Guidelines: CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), acknowledging COVID-19 mitigation strategies should be the responsibility of the individual. Their prevention recommendations no longer differentiate based on a person’s vaccination status and they support equitable testing strategies of vaccinated and unvaccinated. Contact tracing is only recommended in health care settings and certain high-risk congregate settings, and they acknowledged the high levels of vaccine- and infection-induced immunity (natural immunity). 
  • Consent requires choice. Mandates create medical discrimination based on vaccination status. Therefore, medical mandates are coercive. There’s no true choice when your options are between a vaccine that is being distributed under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and your employment.
  • Ask your local district legislators, along with Senate President, Nicholas Scutari (District 22) and Assembly Speaker: Craig Coughlin (District 19) if they will stand with the health care professionals and the employees in “high-risk congregate settings” (corrections officers, nursing home employees, etc.) of New Jersey and support bill S1973/A2585 to end the COVID-19 vaccine mandate and the discriminatory COVID-19 testing of the vaccine-free!  Ask them if they will stand with the health care professionals and corrections officers of New Jersey and pressure Governor Murphy to rescind executive order 252! For more details, read the rest of the bullet points below.

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