Reports: Murphy to announce teacher vaccine mandate, state travel restrictions

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy could soon announce new restrictions, including mandatory vaccines for teachers, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Politico , the governor, who just returned from an Italian vacation, will also announce business travel restrictions for high-level state employees, but the exact timing is unclear. It is also unknown whether the governor would also implement a statewide mask mandate as part of the announcement.

“It’s happening,” Patch quoted state Sen. Joe Vitale, D-Middlesex, as saying. “I know this because I spoke to the Murphy administration and he is going to make an announcement either Friday or Monday.”

According to state numbers, there are 2,407 new “confirmed” COVID-19 cases in New Jersey and 832 “probable” cases. There are 923 people with COVID-19 hospitalized across the state, including 73 people on ventilators.

More than 5.4 million people in New Jersey are fully vaccinated, and the state has reported a total of 934,069 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Spokespeople for the governor did not respond to a request for comment. California and Washington have similarly mandated vaccinations for teachers.

“There is a wide range of public opinion out here on all of these issues,” NJ.com quoted Steve Baker, a spokesman for the New Jersey Education Association, as saying. “Our greater concern is the public safety and public health side… what is going to allow our schools to be as safe and healthy as possible as we reopen.”

Murphy previously issued Executive Order 251 mandating students, staff and visitors wear face masks inside New Jersey school buildings during the upcoming school year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently lists Italy as “high risk .”

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