With the number of measles cases in Rockland at 199 and counting, one hospital in the county has changed its visitor policy to ban children under the age of 18.
Officials at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern said that any children under the age of 18, regardless of their vaccination history, are prevented from visiting the hospital, unless it's for treatment.
"Due to the continuing measles outbreak in Rockland County, all visitors under the age of 18 are restricted from entering Good Samaritan Hospital," said Helen Guss, director of communications. "These restrictions were implemented because the safety of our patients, visitors, and workforce is our top priority.
"This does not apply to those seeking treatment. In addition, New York State Department of Health requires proof of immunization to measles for all healthcare personnel."
The number of measles cases in Rockland County is now at 199 confirmed cases since the outbreak began in October 2018.
The ban does not include other hospitals in the Good Samaritan network.
The hospital ban comes on the back of a new county policy instituted after a state of emergency order was struck down by the courts.
They require anyone with measles and those who have been exposed to measles to be excluded from indoor and outdoor places of public assembly located in Rockland County.
Those who do not comply will face a $2,000 fine, per violation, per day, said Rockland County Commissioner of Health Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert.
In addition, students who attend school in the two ZIP codes, 10952 and 10977, who have not received an MMR vaccine are prohibited from attending school unless they can document a medical or religious exemption, Rockland County Executive Ed Day added.
That includes the greater Spring Valley/Monsey area. The new guidelines for those ZIP codes are being put into place after Rupert said she recently learned that unvaccinated students were still attending some schools.
The Rockland County Health Department urges those who are still unsure about the merits of immunization to talk to their doctors. For additional vaccination locations, call the Health Department directly at (845) 364-2497.
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