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New Jersey To Announce COVID-19 Mandates For Teachers, School Staff This Week As Cases Rise

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) -- With the new school year just around the corner, a couple of major announcements are expected this week regarding COVID-19 vaccine mandates for teachers and school staff in the area. Kids under 12 have not been approved for a vaccine yet, so officials say this is an important step as cases continue to surge and children are set to return to class.

The mandate would apply to teachers and staff. It comes as the Delta Variant continues to fuel the latest surge in cases. Anyone not vaccinated would likely have to agree to regular COVID testing.

Similar mandates are in effect in California and Connecticut. A spokesman for the NJEA -- New Jersey's Top Teacher's Union -- calls the measure appropriate and responsible.

Meanwhile, in Philly, the teachers' union also expressed their support for a vaccine mandate.

The school board scheduled a special session for 5 p.m. Tuesday to require all staff to be vaccinated. Some religious and medical exemptions would apply.

"The virus is drawing a distinction between those who have been vaccinated and are unvaccinated," Wellstar Health System Dr. Danny Branstetter said.

"COVID-19 vaccine reviews are the top priority for the FDA," U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said. "It's possible that we may have vaccines for under 12s before the end of the calendar year."

New Jersey's news conference is set for 1 p.m. Monday. Students and teachers in New Jersey and Delaware are required to wear masks.

In Pennsylvania, individual districts are setting their own requirements.

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