All childcare workers in the state must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1 or face regular weekly testing, Gov. Phil Murphy announced at the weekly pandemic briefing on Monday.

In addition to the COVID protocol, the governor also said that starting Friday, all employees, students, children two and older and visitors at those facilities must wear masks indoors, with “limited exceptions.”

There were 1,392 new cases and 303 likely cases based on test results on Monday.

There also were 1,137 COVID-19 patients in hospitals, including 258 in intensive care.

State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said as of Monday, 57% of COVID patients in the ICU as of Monday were on ventilators (146 patients).

Of active COVID cases, there were 22 pediatric patients "right now," Murphy said when asked at the same briefing.

When asked why the determination was announced now instead of months earlier, Murphy said there was “no magic” in the announcement being made now, but that it took time to start with guidance for healthcare, then educators and state workers — all of which are under the same requirement for either vaccination or weekly testing.

The requirement for educators and school staff to either get fully vaccinated or agree to weekly COVID testing was announced back in August, with an enforcement date of Oct. 18.

The state also gave its weekly update on break through cases, as Murphy again said there was strong evidence that the COVID vaccines work.

Between Aug. 30 and Sept. 6, there were 12,827 positive cases — of which 2,982 were break-through cases among fully vaccinated people.

Out of 1,138 patients hospitalized for COVID in that same timespan, only 49 were among fully vaccinated patients.

There were 78 COVID deaths confirmed in state from Aug. 30 through Sept. 6, of which none had been fully vaccinated for the virus.

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