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Pomona, New York - March 26, 2019
1. SOUNDBITE (English) Ed Day, Rockland County Executive:
"In order to prevent any more children from falling ill with this dangerous disease, I am today declaring a county-wide state of emergency. Effective at the stroke of midnight tonight, March 27th, anyone who is under 18 years of age and is unvaccinated against the measles will be barred from public places until the declaration expires in 30 days or until they receive at least their first shot of MMR. Those under 18 years of age who are unable to be vaccinated for confirmed, documented medical reasons are exempt from this declaration. That is simply the right thing to do. We believe this to be the first such effort of this kind nationally and the circumstances we face here clearly call for that. Rockland will lead the way in service and safety to the people here."
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Ed Day, Rockland County Executive
"Here in Rockland County, we have now entered a 26th week of this measles outbreak. This is nearly six months of investigating cases, holding clinics and giving vaccinations. Our Department of Health must be commended for their hard work and dedication of protecting the public health here in Rockland. To be honest, without their efforts, this outbreak would have been far, far worse. By the numbers last year not just one, but seven unvaccinated travelers diagnosed with measles entered our county between October 1st October 17th, leading to a 153 confirmed cases, and this is the longest outbreak in the U.S. due to measles since the disease was officially eradicated in 2000. According to New York State immunization information systems, only 72.9 percent of the 1 to 18 year olds in Rockland are fully vaccinated against the measles."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Ed Day, Rockland County Executive
"We owe this to the residents of this great county so we never ever have to go through this again. This is an opportunity that everyone in their community to do the right thing for their neighbors and come together. That's what this is about now. We must do everything in our power to end this outbreak and protect the health of those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and that of children too young to be vaccinated, and also those who are at risk, as I mentioned earlier."
A county in New York City's northern suburbs is banning unvaccinated minors from public places to fight a measles outbreak that has infected more than 150 people since October.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day plans to discuss details Tuesday at a news conference on the state of emergency that is being declared.
The county is experiencing New York state's longest measles outbreak since the disease was officially eliminated from the United States in 2000. Health officials say the best way to stop the disease's spread is a high vaccination rate in the community.
Earlier this month, a federal judge denied parents' request to let 44 unvaccinated children return to the Waldorf School in Rockland County.
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