Gov. Murphy to announce vaccine mandate and travel restrictions for NJ
Back from vacation at his posh luxury villa in Italy, Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to announce new COVID restrictions as early as today.
Whether he will announce a new statewide indoor mask mandate remain unknown, but many suspect that will be the case as COVID infection surge, and hospitalizations have now risen above 900.
Murphy is expected to announce a vaccine mandate for all teachers in New Jersey. Two other state's already require teachers to be fully vaccinated against COVID. Washington makes an absolute requirement as a condition of employment. California allows an exemption, if teachers submit to regular COVID testing.
NJ.com reports it is unclear which way Murphy will go for New Jersey educators and staff. All staff and students are already required to wear a mask indoors when classes resume next week.
Murphy is also expected to announce announce new travel restrictions for high level state employees. Politico reports he will ban out of state travel for business for cabinet members and other ranking state employees. The ban would not extend to leisure travel.
Ironically, Murphy did his own leisure traveling for a vacation at the country estate he owns outside Rome. Italy is labeled as a "high risk" for travel according to the CDC. Presumably, Murphy tested negative for COVID before leaving, as a condition of flying back into the United States.
Driven by the Delta variant, COVID continues to land more New Jersey residents in the hospital. And they are showing up sicker. Of the 911 admitted statewide, 179 are in need of life supporting care. Nearly 20% of those being admitted are in or degrade to critical condition.
State health officials claim the majority of new infections are among the unvaccinated, but there have been a growing number of breakthrough infections among those who have received a full vaccine regimen.
The state has not released data about the ages of those hospitalized, or if they have any underlying health conditions.