The measles debate increased with intensity on Tuesday.
Due to an "unprecedented" measles outbreak in Rockland County, NY, U.S. District Court Judge Vincent Briccetti denied granting parents permission for 44 unvaccinated students to return to Chestnut Ridge school from a ban enforced by the Rockland Health Department and its commissioner.
Briccetti told the federal court in White Plains:
"The plaintiffs have not demonstrated that public interest weighs in favor of granting an injunction."
While the ruling is a small victory, it is far from over.
According to the Journal News, Rockland County Attorney Thomas Humbach said the judge's ruling is effective in preventing the risks of spreading and contracting measles at the school.
The attorney said in a statement:
"We have had success, but this case is not over. While no one enjoys the fact that these kids are out of school, these orders have worked; they have helped prevent the measles outbreak from spreading to this school population."
Parents like Beatrice Burgis were relieved at the judge's ruling and told CBS News she agreed with the judge's decision.
"I believe that he's trying to mitigate a potential further outbreak and he's trying to keep everybody safe."
On December 5, Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert imposed an "exclusion order" on 60 schools within the 10952 and 10977 zip codes under the 95% vaccination rate to ban unvaccinated children from attending classes until the outbreak was over.
Many of the schools in Rockland affected by the mandate are yeshivas.
The 24 plaintiffs in the lawsuit alleged that the commissioner violated the parents' religious exemption rule that allows them to opt out of vaccinations for religious and philosophical reasons, and they argued that none of the barred children from the school were among the reported cases from the outbreak that began in October 2018..
As of March 13, 2019, the number of confirmed measles cases in Rockland County increased to 146 as a part of an epidemic that affected an Orthodox Jewish community in Spring Valley, Monsey and New Square.
So far, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported there are 228 cases in 12 states.
Not everyone understood that the ruling was about prevention or the spread of measles in the school, regardless of the lack of cases. Might this anti-vaxxer become enlightened?
We hope so.
We hope the judge's ruling will be the beginning of the end for the Rockland County measles outbreak.
According to CBS Local, some of the controversial parents have hired tutors for the days their kids are missing out in school while others arranged for streaming live lessons online.
After what seemed to be an endless standoff between the school and the families, some parents opted for the unthinkable: they got their children vaccinated.