Rockland County declares 2nd emergency over measles outbreak

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Thursday, April 25, 2019
Rockland County declares 2nd emergency over measles outbreak
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Marcus Solis reports on the measles alert in Rockland County.

ROCKLAND COUNTY, New York (WABC) -- Rockland County Executive Ed Day issued a second declaration of a local State of Emergency Thursday amid the measles outbreak, renewing the original declaration that was due to expire at 11:59 p.m.

The renewed State of Emergency takes effect at midnight Friday and will remain in effect until 11:59 pm, Saturday, May 25, 2019.

The new emergency declaration does not contain the Measles Outbreak Emergency Directive, which prohibited non-vaccinated persons from entering indoor places of public assembly. That directive was overturned by a judge, and subsequent appeals have been denied.

However, the Rockland County Department of Health will continue to enforce the new Commissioner's Orders that were announced last week, which mandates that anyone with measles or anyone exposed to the illness avoid public spaces or face a $2,000-a-day fine.

"Over the last 30 days since my original declaration we have lost the one thing we couldn't afford to lose, valuable time," Day said. "With nearly 50 new confirmed cases in less than a month, what we predicted has come true -- this outbreak continues to rage despite the best efforts of our Department of Health."

WATCH the full news conference by County Executive Ed Day

The order also applies to students who are required to have the proper MMR immunizations and to date have not demonstrated that the vaccines have been administered. This does not apply to students with medical or religious exemptions.

"The disagreement amongst the various courts has undoubtedly caused confusion and contributed to this situation continuing," Day said. "However, I pledge that we will continue to do everything within our power to combat this deadly disease and bring it to a stop once and for all."

Officials say 19,279 MMR vaccinations have been given within Rockland County since the outbreak began in October of 2018.

There have been no fatalities amid the current outbreak, and only three measles-related deaths in the U.S. in the past two decades.

The Rockland County Health Department urges those who are still unsure about the merits of immunization to talk to their doctors. For additional vaccination locations, call the Health Department directly at (845) 364-2497, or see your private physician.


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