The citizens of Rockland county have decided enough is enough.
Faced with the worst measles outbreak in decades, caused by parents who decided not to vaccinate their children, the city has banned unvaccinated children from public spaces for the next month.
@nytimes isn't measles the one that had been eradicated? What could have happened?— Joey Thomas (@Joey Thomas)1553619374.0
Rockland County (about 40 miles north of New York City) has seen 153 diagnosed cases of measles. The vast majority of those affected have been unvaccinated children.
To fight the sickness, County Executive Ed Day is banning any unvaccinated people under the age of 18 from going to malls, restaurants, schools, or any other public spaces. He commented at a press conference on crisis:
"We will not sit idly by while children in our community are at risk. This is a public health crisis, and it's time we sound the alarm."
@nytimes All these stupid parents were immunized! How do they think they never got the measles ? If their stupidit… https://t.co/SueZnvSNDZ— Jane Evil (@Jane Evil)1553620154.0
@nytimes Heck, yes! It's not just schools. These children, who could be walking incubators of a disease, are in mal… https://t.co/vSaAaxgv4H— Smiles, FreeRaifBadawi (@Smiles, FreeRaifBadawi)1553620635.0
The measles likely arrived in Rockland around September 2018, when international travelers visited the area carrying the disease.
Rockland is home to a large community of large community of Orthodox Jews, the sort of "tight-knit, traditional community" which have been particularly vulnerable to outbreaks in the past.
Rockland County In NY has declared A STATE OF EMERGENCY over this measles out break and is banning unvaccinated chi… https://t.co/6NCFN3m7fe— 👸🏾 (@👸🏾)1553641769.0
Another group of Hasidic Jewish people were struck by a measles outbreak in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, earlier this year. Similarly, a community of Russian immigrants was deeply affected when a measles outbreak hit Washington state in February.
@CBSNews And yet, it would be SO easy to prevent this.— Lloyd Osten (@Lloyd Osten)1553626478.0
@CBSNews TOTALLY PREVENTABLE! The parent, with the choice, doesn't suffer. All the compramised and young do. Shame on you!— Jenny Cone (@Jenny Cone)1553627227.0
@ABC How can this public ban of unvaccinated kids/teens be enforced??? Do they have to carry their vaccination card… https://t.co/p4KItItrJW— Donnica Moore (@Donnica Moore)1553688799.0
Though Day said his department won't be stopping random parents and children and asking to review their vaccination "papers" on the street, he also told reporters that violating parents "will be held accountable."
At the stroke of midnight Wednesday, anyone under 18 years old without a measles vaccine in Rockland County, N.Y.,… https://t.co/AUb6oVPfEa— CBS Evening News (@CBS Evening News)1553656818.0
Meanwhile, the local Health Department is offering vaccinations free of charge to anyone in the community.
@nytimes https://t.co/K8DeaAEn80— Justin (@Justin)1553619513.0
@nytimes @YNB This is the county where I live. It drives me crazy that there are people who don't vaccinate their children.— Lauren Faith (@Lauren Faith)1553636936.0
It seems there's no excuse not to have your children vaccinated.
Make sure to jump on the opportunity, Rockland County!