In Brief

N.J. courts announce vaccine mandate

By: - August 6, 2021 1:47 pm
man getting vaccine

The drop in vaccinations that began in mid-June coincided with a precipitous decline in the number of new virus cases reported by the state. (Marko Geber/Getty Images)

New Jersey Courts are enacting their own vaccine mandate.

The judiciary will require all staff and judges presiding over state courts provide proof of their immunization or submit to weekly virus testing, acting Administrative Director of the Courts Judge Glenn Grant said.

The announcement comes only days after the courts fully re-opened to the public for the first time since March 2020.

The new immunization rules closely mirror ones Gov. Phil Murphy enacted on Monday for workers in health care, corrections, long-term care facilities and veterans memorial homes.

Elected leaders have grown increasingly willing to adopt vaccine mandates in recent weeks as COVID-19 case counts renewed an upward climb fueled by the virulent Delta variant.

Virus-related deaths have, so far, remained low.

The state is reporting cases in numbers not seen since the tail end of the last surge in early May, and Murphy on Friday announced children, teachers and visitors will be required to mask when they return to school in September.

Politico New Jersey was first to report the renewed mask mandate in schools.

Calls for immunization mandates in schools have grown with case counts, and public sector unions have expressed a willingness to negotiate on vaccine mandates in recent weeks.

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Nikita Biryukov
Nikita Biryukov

Nikita Biryukov most recently covered state government and politics for the New Jersey Globe. His tenure there included revelatory stories on marijuana legalization, voting reform and Rep. Jeff Van Drew's decamp to the Republican Party. Earlier, he worked as a freelancer for The Home News Tribune and The Press of Atlantic City.