As the measles continue to spread across Rockland, County health officials fined nine yeshivas for providing the health department student vaccination records during Board of Health meetings Wednesday.
The fines, totaling more than $70,000, were levied against schools that did not comply with the Health Commissioner’s order to keep un- or under-vaccinated students home from school and provide vaccination and attendance records to the Rockland County Department of Health during the measles outbreak, said County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert.
All nine schools are now in compliance with the order. Eight of the schools came into compliance, signing stipulations before today’s hearings and were given reduced fines, equal to 10 percent of their original fine, said John Lyon, spokesman for the county.
The ninth school, Ateres Bnos, did not agree to the stipulations and was fined $24,750 during today’s Board of Health hearing, he added.
“During a public health crisis, we expect everyone to comply with the Health Commissioner’s orders,” said Day. “These regulations are designed to protect public health for the entire community and while the majority of schools have complied we will not allow anyone to put children’s lives at risk. We will grant no quarter in protection of the health of this County.”
The schools and their fines are as follows:
- $5,750 - The Skill Building Center
- $5,950 - Bais Chana Malka
- $5,950 - Avir Yakov (Boys and Girls)
- $6,950 - Yeshiva Ohr Torah
- $6,950 - Yeshiva Tzoin Yosef Pupa (Boys)
- $6,950 - Yeshiva Tzoin Yosef Pupa (Girls)
- $6,950 - Bnei Yakov Yosef
- $24,750 - Ateres Bnos (two locations)
“All but one school saw that compliance was the right thing to do before the need for a formal hearing,” said County Attorney Tom Humbach. “It is the intention of these fines to deter others from ignoring the orders of the Health Commissioner. One school chose to test the system; the result was a $24,750 fine. This was not the maximum fine, but the best kind of justice is justice tempered by mercy as they did ultimately comply.”
The Rockland County Law Department has assisted in issuing of the Commissioner’s orders and trying the cases during the hearings.
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