Rockland County Declares State of Emergency Over Measles Outbreak
John Jordan | March 27, 2019
NEW CITY—At a press conference on March 26, Rockland County Executive Ed Day declared a county-wide State of Emergency relating to the ongoing measles outbreak that went into effective at midnight, Wednesday, March 27.
The state of emergency bars anyone under 18 years of age and unvaccinated against the measles from public places until the declaration expires in 30 days or until they receive the MMR vaccination.
The declaration was issued under New York State Executive Law § 24, county officials stated.
“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.
The Rockland County Department of Health reported that as of March 26, there were 153 confirmed reported cases of measles in Rockland County.
“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,” Day said. “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.”
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 scheduled a free MMR vaccination clinic from 1-3 pm yesterday at Building A, Robert L. Yeager Health Complex in Pomona.
“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,” County Executive Day noted.