Rockland County Executive Ed Day told a press conference on Tuesday, that the NY suburb would be taking drastic measures to stop the measles outbreak that has plagued its residents since October as he declared an emergency, effective as of midnight Wednesday. "It endangers the health and well-being of others and displays a shocking lack of responsibility and concern for others in our community", Day said.
The religion as a whole does not discourage vaccination, and rabbis in the Rockland area have worked with health officials to find and convince people to vaccinate their children.
"We must not allow this outbreak to continue indefinitely or worsen again", Day said, according to The New York Times.
News of the ban, established via a county-wide State of Emergency declaration by Rockland officials, was leaked by media outlets earlier Tuesday morning.
Officials say the measles outbreaks offer a lesson about the importance of maintaining a minimum 95% "herd" level of immunization against risky, preventable diseases such as measles. Some 145 cases come from Orange and Rockland counties with 64 cases found in Brooklyn.
Outbreaks typically start with children whose families have refused vaccinations, and may spread to children who are too young to get the vaccine, can't get it for medical reasons, or in rare cases where the vaccine fails.
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Day continued: "Our inspectors have begun to meet resistance from those they are trying to protect".
"I think that something needs to be done that has to be very drastic, that people need to comply and we've got to stop this", said Rockland resident Renee Kahan, who stopped by the clinic for a booster shot.
"Parents will be held accountable if they are found to be in violation of a state of emergency and the focus of this effort is on the parents of these children".
Day will announce the order Tuesday. So far in 2019, 314 cases of measles have been confirmed in 15 states.
"Every action we have taken since the beginning of this outbreak has been created to maximize vaccinations and minimize exposures". We just want people to comply with the order.
More than 82 per cent of the measles patients had not received a single dose of the MMR vaccine, health officials said.
Vaccinations are in theory required to go to school in the United States, but 47 of the 50 states - including NY - allow exemptions, notably for religious reasons. In 2014, 667 cases were confirmed nationwide and there were 372 cases in 2018.