Updated
April 3rd, 2019

Under-Vaccinated Minors Barred From ‘Public Spaces’ in New York

Rockland County NY declares State of Emergency regarding measles outbreak

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Rockland County, New York has declared a State of Emergency related to the ongoing measles outbreak, which has reached 153 confirmed cases.

This State of Emergency is effective beginning March 27, 2019, ‘anyone who is under 18 years of age and unvaccinated against the measles virus will be barred from public places.’

Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. 

‘As this outbreak has continued our inspectors have begun to meet resistance from those they are trying to protect,’ said County Executive Ed Day in a press release. 

Public places are defined as:

  • a place where more than 10 persons are intended to congregate for purposes such as civic, governmental, social
  • religious functions
  • for recreation or shopping, or for food or drink consumption
  • awaiting transportation
  • for daycare or educational purposes
  • 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

Additionally, this Declaration issued under New York State Executive Law 24 will expire in 30 days time or until the qualifying person receives the required measles vaccination.   

Regarding nationwide infectious disease outbreaks, the National Emergencies Act (NEA) authorizes the United States president to declare a “national emergency.” 

The federal government derives its authority for isolation and quarantine from the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to take measures to prevent the entry and spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the United States and between states.   

County Executive Day said, "We must do everything in our power to end this measles outbreak and protect the health of those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or are too young to be vaccinated."   

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. 

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The Rockland County Department of Health will host a free Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccination clinic from 1-3 pm, Wednesday, March 27 on the 2nd floor of Building A, Robert L. Yeager Health Complex, 50 Sanatorium Road, Pomona, NY. 

"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," concluded County Executive Day. 

Rockland County is just one of various measles hot-spots in the USA. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 314 measles cases in 15 states, for the January to March 21, 2019 time frame.   

Just 15 miles south of Rockland County, New York City has reported 181 measles cases during 2019.

Most of NYC’s measles cases have involved members of the Orthodox Jewish community, and are related to international travelers visiting the country of Israel.

Measles can be prevented with a vaccine. In the USA, there are 2 approved measles vaccines, MMR-II and ProQuad, which are available from most pharmacies. 

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides private sector vaccine prices for general information. And, measles vaccine discounts can be found here. 

Vaccines, similar to medications, can cause side effects, says the CDC. Significant vaccine side effects should be reported to the CDC.