NEW CITY, Rockland County (WABC) -- Rockland County's measles emergency is officially over, County Executive Ed Day said Thursday, but he cautioned challenges are still ahead.
"122 days ago, I stood in this same room with health officials, business leaders, law enforcement and many of you to declare a State of Emergency in Rockland County," he said. "On that day in March, we had 153 confirmed cases of measles. Today we have 283. The State of Emergency has ended, but our outbreak is not yet over."
Officials say there has been a steady decreases in cases since March, with only seven cases to date in July. Additionally, MMR vaccinations numbers have climbed with 25,876 vaccinations given since October 2018.
That is a 52.5% increase since the original State of Emergency declaration on March 26, which Day says shows how Rockland residents have stepped up to protect themselves and their neighbors.
"In the past three weeks alone, we have administered 191 MMR vaccinations during our clinic walk-in hours," Commissioner of Health Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert said. "I thank all of our residents who have been vaccinated during this outbreak and want to once again reiterate the importance of vaccination to those who are unsure. Vaccines are safe. Vaccines are effective. Vaccines are the only way to prevent measles and many other dangerous diseases."
The Rockland County Department of Health will continue to issue Commissioner's Orders to those exposed to measles, requiring isolation as per public health requirements.
Anyone contacted as part of an investigation is required to cooperate fully.
WATCH: Rockland County officials declare end to measles emergency
New York lawmakers voted in June to eliminate all non-medical exemptions to vaccines for public schooling, and as the start of a new school year approaches, the Rockland County Department of Health and local school districts have met to discuss requirements and share guidance from the New York State Department of Education regarding the elimination of non-medical exemptions.
"Our message to parents and guardians is clear: if your child is unimmunized, he or she will not be allowed to attend school until they have received the required vaccines for their age," Rockland BOCES Chief Operating Officer Dr. Mary Jean Marsico said. "Students who fail to comply with state law will be excluded from school until they receive the required immunizations."
Rockland County continues to offer opportunities for residents to get vaccinated at the Department of Health, 2nd Floor Clinic, Building A, 50 Sanatorium Road, Pomona, NY, on the following days and times in July and August:
--Mondays and Tuesdays: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
--Wednesdays through Fridays: 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
To schedule an evening appointment, call 845-364-2534 during regular office hours.