Health department closes child care program amid measles outbreak

1010 WINS Newsroom
April 16, 2019 - 11:18 am
Measles

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Officials in Rockland County are trying to contain an ongoing measles outbreak.

There have been 186 confirmed cases.

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Meanwhile, the New York City Health Department has closed a child care program amid an outbreak in Orthodox Jewish Communities.

It said the Williamsburg preschool, United Talmudical Academy, repeatedly failed to provide access to medical records. It said the school will not be allowed to reopen until it submits a 'corrective action plan' approved by the department.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has issued an order that requires child care programs to exclude non-vaccinated students and staff, and to provide records of those vaccinations to public health officials. Officials say the academy did not provide vaccination records.

"These outbreaks should not be happening," said Deputy Mayor Dr. Herminia Palacio. "We should not have measles outbreaks in the United States. Period, full stop."

The mayor said he wanted to get everyone from the heavily Orthodox Jewish communities, vaccinated before Passover.

"To make sure it is a good holiday, we have to ensure that people are protected," de Blasio said.

Failure to get a vaccine or provide evidence of immunity could result in a $1,000 fine.

The New York Civil Liberties Union has expressed concerns about the policy.

"Public health law authorizes the city to take action to address public health emergencies through containment and isolation of affected people. The city's order provides that people will be vaccinated without their consent, an extreme measure which is not provided for in the law and raises civil liberties concerns about forced medical treatment. In addressing this public health crisis, the government is required to pursue the least restrictive means possible to balance individual autonomy with the public health risk. In this case, measures such as a quarantine or penalties for non-vaccination may be permissible, but forced vaccination is not," NYC Civil Liberties Union, Executive Director Donna Lieberman said.

City health officials say 239 cases of measles have been confirmed since the beginning of the outbreak last October.

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