School Employee Guidelines


Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 253 for school employees

  • Requires Covid vaccination by Oct. 18th OR weekly Covid testing
  • The Covid test may be an antigen test or a molecular test (PCR, NAAT)


Federal Grants are available to School Districts to implement testing programs

  • Schools must complete a survey by SEPTEMBER 13th to indicate interest or opt-out of the program. Schools must also indicate which of 2 options they prefer.
  • Option 1:  A “turnkey” program where a state-contracted vendor will provide full testing services onsite at the schools.
  • Option 2:  Provides schools with funding to support testing programs that are already in place and align with the NJDOH.

Additional Funding Opportunity from HHS

  • $50 million dollars for free COVID testing at k-12 schools across the country.
  • A company called Affinity Empowering will set up a testing program at no cost to the school district.
  • Several New Jersey schools are using this company.


  • Schools have a legal and ethical duty to create a safe environment for all.
  • Masks, vaccination, staying home when symptomatic and contact tracing are the primary methods being utilized to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in schools.
  • A well-designed testing program can catch Covid infections early to reduce transmission of the virus in the school setting.
  • Vaccination does not prevent infection in all people. Vaccination does not prevent transmission.  Children under the age of 12 are not eligible for Covid vaccination. Some people are unable to be vaccinated due to medical and religious reasons.
  • A testing program has to include all unvaccinated adults per EO 253 but should also include vaccinated adults or a random sampling of them, to be effective as a tool for reduced transmission in a school setting.
  • Testing should not be punitive or completed at personal cost to employees.
  • School staff should not have to use personal or sick days when quarantined.
  • Schools must plan ahead by setting up a fully-funded testing program ready to expand to meet future needs should Covid cases increase as new variants arrive.


  • Nasal or nasopharyngeal (deep) swabs are invasive and often uncomfortable. A nasopharyngeal swab sample must be collected by a healthcare worker.
  • Saliva sampling is non-invasive and acceptable to most, including children.
  • Saliva samples and some nasal swab samples can be done independently/at home.
  • Many studies show saliva sampling is preferred for accuracy and ease. (Rutgers University uses saliva testing and developed the test)