State of emergency in New York | International Travel & Health Insurance Journal

New York county takes ‘extremely unusual’ step to ban unvaccinated minors from public places amid measles outbreak

New York county takes ‘extremely unusual’ step to ban unvaccinated minors from public places amid measles outbreak

County executive Ed Day declared the state of emergency, which is effective on midnight of Tuesday, March 26.

Skriloff said that the authorities had been making "steady progress" in encouraging religious communities to immunise children but communication had broken down in the last month. Outdoor locations like parks and sidewalks are not covered.

"The goal is not to prosecute people".

Under the emergency declaration, the only option Rockland County officials have is to charge an individual with a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a $500 fine and a possible sentence of up to six months in jail.

The county has vaccinated almost 17,000 people since the outbreak began in October, but resorted to the sweeping order targeting unvaccinated kids after other measures failed to rein it in.

A spokesperson for the county executive said they don't anticipate having to do that. They have been hung up on or told not to call again.

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"This type of response is unacceptable and frankly irresponsible", he said. "It endangers the health and wellbeing of others and displays a shocking lack of responsibility and concern for others in our community".

The county is bracing for a likely legal challenge to the order.

Rockland County, a woody and undulating region of sprawling houses 30 miles northwest of New York City, has become the first district in the U.S. to demand that all unvaccinated children be kept at home. The parents had argued that Commissioner Patricia Schnabel Ruppert's order to keep unvaccinated children in specific zip codes with vaccination rates of under 95 percent out of school violates religious objections to vaccinations. The schools are now in compliance, the department said Wednesday.

The county has been in the throes of a prolonged measles epidemic that has persisted despite attempts to change the minds of parents who opt not to vaccinate their children.

But while the media fixates on a small minority of parents who oppose vaccines over fears about side effects, they overlook another group that supports vaccines in general while having an ethical conflict with vaccines derived from aborted babies' cells. Residents in Spring Valley, New Square, and Monsey have been affected.

"This community was deliberately targeted by anti-vaccine activists", said Dr Peter Hotez, the dean of the national school of tropical medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

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The announcement follows other outbreaks of the disease in Washington, California, Texas and IL.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now monitoring six measles outbreaks around the country. County officials say the only exemption from vaccinations are people who can not receive it for medical reasons.

Day added that seven unvaccinated people entered Rockland County previous year and were diagnosed with the measles. "We just want to encourage everyone to do the right thing so we can stop this outbreak", Lyon said.

Eric Shuda, 33, agreed.

You should also see your GP if you have been in close contact with someone who has measles and haven't been fully vaccinated or haven't had the infection before, even if you don't have any symptoms yet. "I think it's smart", he said. "If we don't do that, we are going to continue in the same direct we are now which is an ongoing situation of a measles epidemic".

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