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covid health emergancy end in nj

COVID Public Health Emergency Ends NJ 

Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill into law on Friday that ends the public health emergency but also codifies some executive orders, allowing the Murphy administration to retain some powers that he didn’t have before the COVID crisis hit New Jersey in March 2020.

The legislation, which was negotiated with legislative leadership and sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, allows for the termination of the public health emergency while also allowing the administration to retain the tools necessary to manage the ongoing threat posed by the pandemic, lawmakers said.

Specifically, the Murphy administration is authorized to issue orders, directives, and waivers under the authority in the “Emergency Health Powers Act” that are related to:

  • Vaccination efforts
  • Testing
  • Health resource and personnel allocation
  • Data collection, retention, sharing, and access
  • Coordination of local health departments
  • Implementation of any Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

This authority lasts until Jan. 11, 2022, and can be extended for 90 days with the passage of a concurrent resolution by the state Legislature.

“Today’s lifting of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency is a clear and decisive step on the path toward normalcy,” said Murphy. “The past 15 months have been a challenge, and I thank every New Jerseyan who stayed home, masked up, took precautions to keep this virus in check, and got vaccinated for allowing us to get to this point. I also thank the Senate president and the speaker for working with us to responsibly end the public health emergency and meet the challenges ahead.”

The legislation keeps the following 14 executive orders in place until January 1, 2022, though they can be modified or rescinded prior to that date by the governor. They include:

Further, any administrative orders, directives, or waivers that relied on the existence of the public health emergency, including Department of Health orders that govern vaccinations and testing, are extended until January 11, 2022, officials said.

The governor is authorized to seek a further 90-day extension of such orders, directives, or waivers, which can be granted by a concurrent resolution passed by the Legislature.

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Source: Patch