Healthcare workers and others that work in so-called "congregate settings" will not have to receive a second booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine to keep their jobs.

Gov. Phil Murphy issued a new executive order on Wednesday that clarified the definition of “up to date” to include only one booster dose and to clarify that a second booster dose is not required.

In a statement, Murphy urged healthcare workers to voluntarily get the second dose, as he said he did himself, but is not making it a requirement of employment.

"Even though it is not required, I encourage New Jerseyans who the CDC has advised would benefit from their second booster to roll up their sleeves and give themselves an added dose of defense against COVID-19, like I did yesterday," Murphy said.

Under Executive Order No. 294: "A covered worker is considered “up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations” if they have received a primary series, which consists of either a 2-dose series of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or a single dose COVID-19 vaccine and the first booster dose for which they are eligible, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

The clarification comes just days after the April 11 deadline for healthcare workers to prove they had gotten boosted, or risk losing their jobs.

The numbers here in New Jersey and from around the nation are clear – getting boosted is directly linked to less-severe COVID-19 symptoms and illness and far lower rates of hospitalization and death. Our steadfast vaccination efforts have effectively lowered the risk we face in New Jersey, and as we navigate the path to normalcy, we must continue to do all we can to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities. - Gov. Phil Murphy

It is unclear how many healthcare workers have refused to get the extra dose of COVID vaccine.

New Jersey hospitals had reported better than 90% compliance with the original order requiring full vaccination, but The New Jersey Hospital Association says they do not have figures on booster compliance.

In the general population, 6,840,819 people who live, work or study in New Jersey have received the first full course of vaccination. However, less than half have received even one booster dose.

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

Every NJ city and town's municipal tax bill, ranked

A little less than 30 cents of every $1 in property taxes charged in New Jersey support municipal services provided by cities, towns, townships, boroughs and villages. Statewide, the average municipal-only tax bill in 2021 was $2,725, but that varied widely from more than $13,000 in Tavistock to nothing in three townships. In addition to $9.22 billion in municipal purpose taxes, special taxing districts that in some places provide municipal services such as fire protection, garbage collection or economic development levied $323.8 million in 2021.

School aid for all New Jersey districts for 2022-23

The state Department of Education announced district-level school aid figures for the 2022-23 school year on Thursday, March 10, 2022. They're listed below, alphabetically by county. For additional details from the NJDOE, including specific categories of aid, click here.

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