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New Public Places Exclusion Order Issued In Rockland Amid Measles Outbreak

Rockland County Commissioner of Health Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert and County Executive Ed Day discuss the measles outbreak.
Rockland County Commissioner of Health Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert and County Executive Ed Day discuss the measles outbreak. Photo Credit: Rockland County

With 186 confirmed cases of measles in Rockland County, officials announced new mandates for anyone with measles under a "Communicable Disease and Exposure Exclusion Order."

The new mandates, announced Tuesday, April 16, replace the county's State of Emergency that was shot down by a state Supreme Court judge.

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.

Day also announced that due to exposure to measles five people have been placed in intensive care, including one infant and has caused one premature birth.

The county will return to court this week to defend their appeal of state Supreme Court Justice Rolph Thorsen's earlier ruling against a state of emergency that prevented unvaccinated children from public places, including churches and houses of worship.

County Attorney Thomas Humbach said the county is prepared to make their case and has already submitted the paperwork for the appeal which will be heard on Thursday, April 18, by the Appellate Division.

Since the outbreak began last October there has been more than 18,718 MMR vaccines given in Rockland County, Ruppert said. But, she added that she believes there are many more people who have, or have had the measles and have not reported it.

Day also pointed to the costs of the outbreak, the largest in the state in 30 years, could reach $2 million, which would be the same as a 2 percent property tax increase for homeowners.

"It's unacceptable to do nothing," Day said. "We cannot afford to wait around and wait for a court."

For questions regarding measles, call the New York State Department of Health toll-free at 888-364-4837.

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