Republicans are criticizing Gov. Phil Murphy's latest mandate, which requires toddlers at daycare centers wear masks.

"Forcing a two-year old to wear a mask all day is big government at its worst," state Sen. Kristin Corrado, R-Passaic, said.

Will working parents be forced to pick up their child from day care if they refuse to wear a mask or wear it properly?" she said in a written statement. "Will day care employees be reprimanded if a toddler refuses to comply?"

Corrado said she spoke to day care operators who struggle on a daily basis to get toddlers to keep their shoes on, never mind a mask.

"This overbearing executive order is yet another sign that Gov. Murphy is completely out of touch with the needs of children, parents and child care providers," she said.

State Sen. Joe Pennachio, R-Bergen, called the order "useless and unworkable."

"Every parent who has ever tried to get a photo of their 2-year old in a Halloween mask knows this rule is futile. When you put any covering on a 2-year old's face, they instinctively grab it and pull it off," Pennacchio said.

This new executive order is the just the latest of a long list of edicts that haven't made any sense, he added.

For example, he cited that masks were required for outdoor visitors to the beaches and state parks, and restaurants were forced to close at 10 p.m. as if the virus became more contagious later in the evening.

Pennacchio, who has questioned where the science and data is to support this type of edict, said daycare workers are going to spend all day chasing after kids who lost their masks.

State Sen. Michael Testa, R-Cumberland, thinks the mask mandate for 2-year-olds is ridiculous and likely unenforceable.

The newest executive order signed by Murphy on Monday and announced at a COVID-19 press briefing in Trenton indicates that all childcare workers in the state must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1 or face regular weekly testing.

In addition, starting this Friday, all employees, students, children two and older and visitors at those facilities must wear masks indoors, with "limited exceptions."

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