Bayonne school district outlines procedures for staff as state ‘vaccine mandate’ kicks in

Unvaccinated employees must submit a negative COVID-19 test every Friday starting Oct. 22

Superintendent Niesz addresses the public at the August meeting of the Bayonne Board of Education.
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Superintendent Niesz addresses the public at the August meeting of the Bayonne Board of Education.

As Gov. Phil Murphy’s ‘vaccine mandate’ executive order begins on Oct. 18, requiring all school employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing, the Bayonne School District has issued guidance for regular testing for unvaccinated employees.

All unvaccinated employees must submit a negative COVID-19 test result by Friday of each week, according to a letter sent to staff from Superintendent of Schools John Niesz. Failure to do so will result in a follow up from the Board of Education and or Department of Health as well as the staff member potentially being removed from the position until they provide a negative COVID-19 test result.

The procedure

Vaccinated staff do not need to submit to a weekly COVID-19 test. Unvaccinated staff must start submitting negative test results every Friday starting on Oct. 22.

Test results must be sent via email with a copy of the results to covidtest@bboed.org with a name and building location. Results can also be texted to 201-978-7964 with name and building location.

Unvaccinated employees will not be given time off to get tested. “We cannot arrange for all unvaccinated employees to leave their assignments to get tested,” Niesz said.

If tests results have not come back in yet, the district “will wait a reasonable amount of time” for results to come in. If the employee is absent or school is closed on Friday, the results must be submitted the next regular day of school.

Employees who do not get tested will be sent a reminder by the district to do so. Consequences include reminders, verbal, written directives, and after repeated attempts to get test results, being removed from their position until they submit a negative test result. Personal days can be used during this, but after they are exhausted employees will be placed on unpaid leave until submitting a negative test result.

For any questions, contact a supervisor or building principal or email wrogers@bboed.org.

Where to get tested

The district is not providing free COVID-19 testing at this time. But that may change, Niesz said. Free COVID-19 testing from the state is not available yet either. The district doesn’t anticipate the service to be available until a “much later date.”

However, the city offers COVID-19 testing at the Bayonne Museum at 229 Broadway. The testing is available on Thursdays from 1 to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. No appointment is needed.

To get tested at Bayonne Medical Center, call 201-858-5000.

COVID-19 testing is available at City MD Urgent Care at 904 Bayonne Crossing Way. Call 551-497-5675.

Residents can get tested at the Rite Aid at 1097 Broadway. Appointments are needed, call 201-436-6831. Testing here is no cost with most insurance.

Testing is available at Total Care Pharmacy at 596 Broadway. Call 201-535-5080. The regular test is $150 and the PCR is $175.

Residents can get tested at Dr. Ahab Gabriel at 449 Avenue C. Call 201-374-1103. The rapid test is $110 and the regular test is covered by insurance.

COVID-19 testing is available at Hudson DNA & Drug Testing at 150 Pulaski Street. Call 201-994-6594. Testing here is $99.

Residents can get tested at the RWJBarnabas at 519 Broadway Suite 3100. Call 551-214-3500 for an appointment.

Testing is available at BHMG United Medical 988 Broadway. Call 201-339-6111 or visit www.unitedmed.com. PCR testing is available by appointment.

Residents can get tested at Broadway Care Pharmacy at 516 Broadway with an appointment by their physician. Call 201-437-5100.

At-home COVID-19 tests are allowed if asymptomatic.

What next?

If an employee tests positive, they must notify their supervisor and follow subsequent instructions.

While some had questions, most teachers in the district were okay with the the ‘vaccine mandate,’ President of the Bayonne Education Association Gene Woods told the Bayonne Community News back in August.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.