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NY Suburb Declares Measles Emergency, Bars Unvaccinated Minors From Public Places

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In a move aimed at getting the public's attention, officials in New York's Rockland County have declared a state of emergency in response to an ongoing measles outbreak. Among the measures: a 30-day ban on any unvaccinated individuals under the age of 18 from being in public places.


Of course, there's no practical way to enforce the measure. But that's not exactly the point, anyway, says Rockland County Executive Ed Day. Officials just want to make sure parents know how serious things are in Rockland. There have been more than 150 confirmed cases of measles in the county since the fall, officials say.

"It's an attention grabber, there's no question about it," Day said at a news conference. The goal isn't to make arrests, but to bring attention to the issue, he said. Of the 153 confirmed cases as of Tuesday, 82 percent had not gotten the Measles Mumps Rubella, or MMR vaccine, according to county statistics. Most of those infected are minors.


The emergency declaration bans unvaccinated minors from public gathering places, including restaurants, civic centers, houses of worship, shopping malls, and schools. "I must take this step to protect the infants, infirm, and ill of this County who are unable to be vaccinated against the measles or who are immunocompromised," Day said in the declaration. "I must make every effort to protect them."


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