BREAKING: County Exec Day Declares State of Emergency Related to Ongoing Measles Outbreak

County Executive Ed Day declared a county wide State of Emergency relating to the ongoing measles outbreak. Effective at the stroke of midnight, Wednesday, March 27, anyone who is under 18 years of age and unvaccinated against the measles will be barred from public places until this declaration expires in 30 days or until they receive the MMR vaccination.

This declaration was issued under New York State Executive Law § 24 and is attached.

“Every action we have taken since the beginning of this outbreak has been designed to maximize vaccinations and minimize exposures. We are taking the next step in that endeavor today,” said County Executive Day. “This is an opportunity for everyone in our community to do the right thing for their neighbors and come together. We must do everything in our power to end this outbreak and protect the health of those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and that of children too young to be vaccinated.”

In this emergency declaration, public places are defined as: a place where more than 10 persons are intended to congregate for purposes such as civic, governmental, social, or religious functions, or for recreation or shopping, or for food or drink consumption, or awaiting transportation, or for daycare or educational purposes, or for medical treatment. A place of public assembly shall also include public transportation vehicles, including but not limited to, publicly or privately owned buses or trains, but does not include taxi or livery vehicles.

“As this outbreak has continued our inspectors have begun to meet resistance from those they are trying to protect. They have been hung up on or told not to call again. They’ve been told “we’re not discussing this, do not come back,” when visiting the homes of infected individuals as part of their investigations. This type of response is unacceptable and irresponsible. It endangers the health and well-being of others and displays a shocking lack of responsibility and concern for others in our community,” said Day. 

Law enforcement will not be patrolling or asking for vaccination records but those found to be in violation will be referred to the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office.

The Rockland County Department of Health will host a free MMR vaccination clinic from 1-3 pm, Wednesday, March 27 on the 2nd floor of Building A, Robert L. Yeager Health Complex, 50 Sanatorium Road, Pomona, NY.

“We must not allow this outbreak to continue indefinitely. We will not sit idly by while children in our community are at risk. This is a public health crisis, and it is time to sound the alarm, to ensure that everyone takes proper action to protect themselves and their neighbors; for the health and safety of all of us in Rockland,” concluded County Executive Day.

The county executive said that in the 26 weeks since the outbreak was first reported 16,958 new vaccinations have been administered, the majority at Refuah Health Center in New Square.

Recent Infections in Brooklyn and Queens

As of March 19, 2019, there have been 181 confirmed cases of measles in Brooklyn and Queens since October. Most of these cases have involved members of the Orthodox Jewish community.

The initial child with measles was unvaccinated and acquired measles on a visit to Israel, where a large outbreak of the disease is occurring. Since then, there have been additional people from Brooklyn and Queens who were unvaccinated and acquired measles while in Israel. People who did not travel were also infected in Brooklyn or Rockland County.

The neighborhoods that are affected include:

Brooklyn

  • Bensonhurst: 1 confirmed measles case (no new cases since November 2018)
  • Borough Park: 46 confirmed measles cases (2 additional cases in the past week)
  • Brighton Beach: 1 travel-related case
  • Midwood/Marine Park: 2 confirmed measles case (no additional cases in the past week)
  • Williamsburg: 130 confirmed measles cases (21 additional cases in the past week)

Queens

  • Flushing: 1 travel-related case

If you plan to travel to Israel, protect yourself and your family against measles and get vaccinated with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at least two weeks in advance of your trip. If you have traveled to Israel and you have a fever, cough, red eyes, runny nose and body rash, contact your doctor. You should call your doctor before going to their office to prevent exposing other people to measles.

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NEW YORK CITY PRESS RELEASE