WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- An emergency order in New York barring children who have not been vaccinated for measles from public spaces was implemented on Wednesday in Rockland County.
- Since October, the New York county has reported 153 confirmed cases of measles– the number surging as parents refuse to get their kids vaccinated from the disease.
- According to the order, unvaccinated children must be barred from schools, restaurants, shopping centers, houses of worship and all other indoor public places.
A New York county has barred unvaccinated children from public places, such as schools, restaurants and shopping malls, as it battles the state’s worst measles outbreak in decades.
On Tuesday, Rockland County declared a state of emergency that begins Wednesday at midnight, adding that the order would remain in place for 30 days or until parents of the unvaccinated children get the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) shot.
The order comes after California, Illinois, Texas, and Washington reported measles outbreaks, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a statement, Rockland County Executive Ed Day said, “We will not sit idly by while children in our community are at risk. This is a public health crisis, and it is time to sound the alarm.”
Rockland County, which is about 11 miles (18 km) north of Manhattan, reported 153 confirmed cases of measles. Those affected were mostly children who have not been vaccinated.
Unvaccinated children will not be allowed in public places such as schools, places of worship, restaurants and shopping malls. Parks, playgrounds and other outdoor spaces are not included from the ban. Exempted are individuals who are medically unable to get vaccinated.
According to Reuters, the outbreaks in New York and Washington began after U.S. travelers picked up measles in foreign countries, where the disease was running rampant, and brought it back to places where vaccination rates were too low by U.S. public health standards.
Measles has spread mostly among school-age children because their parents refused to get them vaccinated. Authorities said that these parents cite reasons such as philosophical or religious beliefs, or concerns the MMR shot could give their kids autism.
It has already been established that there is no link between vaccines and autism.