State employees were supposed to be back in their offices full-time right after Labor Day, but they will get some extra time at home.

The report to the office deadline of September 7 will be extended to October 18, according to NJ.com.

The delay is presumably to give state workers time to get vaccinated. Governor Phil Murphy expanded his vaccine mandate to include all state of NJ employees. He gave them until October 18 to prove vaccination status, or be subject to regular COVID testing. That testing will occur at least once a week, but could be more, Murphy said.

While working remote for most of the pandemic, the state had been gradually increasing the amount of time employees were in their government offices. All employees have been required to report to their designated work locations 2-3 days a week.

The governor has been expanding vaccine mandates across state government and the healthcare sector.

On July 8, Murphy ordered all workers in hospitals, care facilities, nursing homes and other medical facilities to be vaccinated or subject to COVID testing up to twice a week. They have until September 7 to prove full vaccination status.

Murphy's order does not preclude hospitals and other healthcare companies from requiring stricter mandates. RWJBarnabas Health requires all hospital workers and vendors to be vaccinated, and has begun terminating employees who refuse.

On August 23, Murphy ordered all workers on the state payroll to be fully vaccinated by October 18. Murphy's order included workers at "all state agencies, authorities, and public colleges and universities — whether they be full- or part-time, or contract employees.”

While Murphy is expanding vaccine mandates for healthcare and government workers, many private businesses have been reluctant to do the same. A survey released by the New Jersey Business and Industry Association shows most employers want to mandate vaccines, but fear losing workers who refuse.

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NJ arrests 31 accused child predators in "Operation 24/7"

A roundup of 31 men have been accused of sexually exploiting children online, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced on July 14 while detailing "Operation 24/7."

The suspects “possessed and or distributed videos and images of child sexual abuse, including in many cases videos of young children being raped by adults,” Grewal said.

Chat apps and gaming platforms remain favorite hunting grounds for child predators and even as the pandemic winds down, many children have continued to spend more time online.

State Police received 39% more tips in just the first 6 months of 2021 than they received in the entire year in 2019. The following are suspects charged in "Operation 24/7."

 

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