Assemblyman Kevin Rooney (R-40) is taking a stand against the Biden Administration’s recent vaccinate-or-test mandate, saying it is a “control issue, not a health issue.”
“Gov. (Phil) Murphy’s lockdowns destroyed a third of New Jersey businesses. This Democrat-backed mandate will crush those that remain,” said the Assemblyman.
The Biden Administration issued the new rules Nov. 4 via the Department of Labor (DOL) and it’s sub-agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Under the rules, all employers with at least 100 workers would be required to ensure workers were vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19.
Federal Court Stay
Rooney was not alone in opposing the order.
A federal court in Louisiana blocked the law after the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Utah, and more filed suit challenging the vaccinate-or-test mandate, reported Politico (Nov. 6).
In total, more than two dozen states filed multiple legal challenges in federal court against the Biden Administration order, with most arguing OSHA didn’t have the authority to issue such requirements.
“Because the petitions give cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the Mandate, the Mandate is hereby STAYED pending further action by this court,” a panel of judges for the New Orleans-based Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Saturday.
Attacking the Plan
Rooney said the so-called “Path Out of the Pandemic Plan” put forward by President Joe Biden relied on evolving science, and that even its original goal could be muddied by waning vaccine efficacy.
The Bergen County lawmaker further noted OSHA was looking to install such rules for smaller companies, but it already impacted more than 84 million private-sector workers.
“I read a headline today that President Biden doesn’t want to be a Grinch during the holiday shopping season, so he’s pushing back the deadline to help ease supply chains,” Rooney said. “Who knew the threat of COVID-19 could be staved off by the need for Amazon warehouse workers and drivers?”
The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in New Jersey totaled 12,808,099 in-state, plus an additional 488,888 administered out-of-state for a grand total of 13,296,987 as of Nov. 9. Of those who have received the vaccine, 5,883,965 received their second dose or the one jab Johnson & Johnson dose in state and another 210,161 out of state, bringing those fully vaccinated to 6,094,126.
State officials reported boosters and third shots of 473,695 for Pfizer and 291,366 for Moderna. A total of 10,625 New Jerseyans have received their Johnson & Johnson booster shot. Overall, 775,686 have received a booster or third shot.
In North Jersey, Bergen County has delivered 1,418,056 doses (649,666 fully vaccinated), Essex 1,106,023 doses (510,865), Hudson 981,026 doses (460,215), Morris 770,642 doses (350,430), Passaic 679,802 doses (317,658), Sussex 181,895 doses (84,782), and Warren 119,386 doses (55,187).
As of Nov. 9, the cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New Jersey was 1,051,277 with 1,082 total new PCR cases. There were 471 probable cases, bringing the cumulative total of antigen tests to 158,508. The total number of individual cases for the state is 1,209,785.
As for those that have passed, the state reported 27 confirmed deaths, bringing that total to 25,301. The state listed probable deaths at 2,818, bringing the overall total to 28,119. State officials noted seven deaths occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.
For North Jersey counties on Nov. 9, Bergen had a total of 83 new confirmed cases and 24 new probable cases, Essex 90 new cases and 20 new probable cases, Hudson 36 new cases and 12 new probable cases, Morris 70 new confirmed cases and 35 new probable cases, Passaic 51 new cases and 11 new probable cases, Sussex 30 new cases and 20 new probable cases, and Warren 24 new cases and four new probable cases.
Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 2,856, followed by Bergen at 2,695, Hudson with 2,168, Passaic at 1,815, Morris at 1,045, Sussex at 270, and Warren County at 229.
In regards to probable deaths reported Nov. 8, Essex has 310, Bergen has 311, Morris has 266, Hudson has 222, Passaic has 207, Sussex has 71 and Warren has 26.
Of the 5,768,483 fully vaccinated individuals studied as of Oct. 25, 44,955 New Jersey residents have tested positive for COVID who were fully vaccinated, resulting in 1,002 COVID-related hospitalizations and 258 COVID-related deaths. All those are less than 1% in each category.
In the week of Oct. 17-24, breakthroughs accounted for 16.6% of all new cases (1,924 of 11,615), 3.8% of new hospilizations (29 of 762), and none of the 132 deaths.
As for the rate of transmission reported Nov. 9, it declined to 0.98 from 1.00 the day before. The daily rate of infections from those tested Nov. 4 was 3.8%; by region, the rate was 3.2% in the North, 4.7% in the Central region and 3.9% in the South.
The state reported 675 patients were hospitalized; by region, there were 240 in the North, 213 in the Central and 222 in the South. Of those hospitalized, 146 are in intensive care units and 73 on ventilators. A total of 49 patients were discharged in the last 24 hour reporting period.
Officials have continually cited transmission rate, hospitalizations, intensive care units, ventilators and positivity rate as health data they rely on to track how the coronavirus is being contained in New Jersey, guiding them in determining when restrictions have to be tightened or lifted.
In regards to cases related to in-school transmissions as of Nov. 9, the state has tracked 160 school outbreaks and 794 cases linked to those outbreaks since the 2021/2022 school year starting Aug. 7, up 12 outbreaks and 66 cases from the week previous.
Outbreaks are defined as three or more laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff with onsets within a 14 day period, linked within the school setting, do not share a household, and were not identified as close contacts of each other in another setting during standard case investigation or contact tracing.
For North Jersey in the new report, Passaic County has eight confirmed outbreak with 102 cases, Bergen County has 14 confirmed outbreak with 65 cases, Sussex has 15 confirmed outbreak with 58 cases, Morris County has seven confirmed outbreaks with 33 cases, Essex County has six confirmed outbreak with 26 cases and Hudson County has seven confirmed outbreaks with 25 cases. No outbreaks were reported in Warren County.
Long-term Care Facilities
Health officials noted 131 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 1,213 of the cases, broken down between 659 residents and 554 staff.
Cumulatively, 1,809 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 33,977 residents and 23,203 staff, for a total of 57,180.
The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 8,657 on Nov. 9. The facilities are reporting to the state 7,999 residents deaths and 145 staff deaths.