The CDC is monitoring six measles outbreaks across country; 314 cases already reported in 2019. A massive amount of 314 reported cases of measles have been confirmed already since March 21st compared to 374 cases confirmed in all of 2018 together, according to the CDC.
With outbreaks of measles continuing to threaten many parts of the United States, one New York county has decided to take action.
Rockland County has officially banned unvaccinated children from any public spaces.
The announcement was made by the director of strategic communications for County Executive Ed Day.
“We’re not punishing the people who are doing the right thing already and following the rules. We just want to encourage everyone to do the right thing so we can stop this outbreak,” the director said.
Public health officials seem to believe they have no choice but to take this step given the severity of the circumstances at hand.
This is the sixth month in a row the county has been battling the massive outbreak. Meaning it is the longest outbreak on record in the United States since measles was declared eliminated in 2000. At the time of this article, 153 cases have been reported in the county since the outbreak was first declared in October.
A spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in an email to CNN this statement “State law gives health departments authority to broadly implement control measures in response to outbreaks,”
The new ban will be enforced the same way as all other laws are enforced.
CNN noted that if during an investigation into how a new individual gets exposed, if someone unvaccinated was found to have been in a public place after the ban, officials will refer that person to the district attorney.
As for what is classified as a “public space,” county officials state that it’s “any space where 10 or more people intend to congregate.”
So this means churches,shopping malls, stores, parks, playgrounds, and even schools are now off-limits for unvaccinated children younger than 18. This order does not apply to those children who have started their vaccinations but are not yet fully vaccinated against measles because of their age.