Home > Alerts > New Jersey Executive Order Mandates Regular Testing for Unvaccinated Individuals in Certain Health Care Entities and High-Risk Congregate Settings

New Jersey Executive Order Mandates Regular Testing for Unvaccinated Individuals in Certain Health Care Entities and High-Risk Congregate Settings

Posted: 08/13/2021
Services: Labor and Employment
Industries: Health Care

On August 6, 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 252 as New Jersey and the nation continues to battle COVID-19 and the Delta variant. This most recent Executive Order takes effect on September 7, 2021 and requires certain health care entities and high-risk congregate settings to implement a policy for their ‘covered workers’ to (i) provide proof of being fully vaccinated or (ii) submit to COVID-19 testing at a minimum of one to two times weekly until the individual is fully vaccinated. 

What You Need to Know:

  • Executive Orders have been regularly used by governors, including New Jersey, to try and deal with pandemic
  • Affected parties need to stay apprised of new executive orders and their impact upon affected constituencies
  • As COVID-19 and the delta variant continue to spread, additional executive orders are likely

​The affected health care entities and high-risk congregate settings covered by this Executive Order include acute and specialty hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, long-term care facilities, urgent care centers, dialysis clinics, and FQHCs. “Covered workers’ include full and part-time employees and contractors.

The Executive Order provides several options for affected individuals to demonstrate they are fully vaccinated, including their vaccine card, a record from a state immunization registry, or a record from a health care provider’s medical record system signed by a licensed provider. An individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks following receipt of the second dose in a two-dose regimen or two weeks after receiving a single shot COVID vaccine. The Executive Order provides that these are minimum testing requirements and an affected business may impose more stringent requirements. For individuals who need to undergo the regular testing protocol, the entities affected by this Executive Order must track test and report test results to their local health department. 

The Executive Order will remain in effect until revoked or modified by Governor Murphy.

The costs to test unvaccinated workers will become costly over time and employers should plan accordingly. The Executive Order does not specify if the regular testing can be a cost for the unvaccinated individual.

Given the increased COVID-19 rates, this latest Executive Order is not a surprise. The Garden State continues to enact measures that will push more individuals who are eligible to be vaccinated to get vaccinated in an effort to minimize hospitalizations and deaths. Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr attorneys can help affected entities maintain a work place that is compliant with all state and federal requirements as they regularly change including updating or creating policies and procedures.For more information about this important development, please contact the author or the Saul Ewing attorney with whom you are regularly in contact.