Rockland measles cases reach 46 amid concerns over polling site exposure

Posted: Updated:

The number of confirmed measles cases in Rockland County has reached 46, amid concerns that the illness could be transmitted at polling locations on Election Day next Tuesday.

A number of polling places are located within the East Ramapo Central School District, causing the district to take precautions to limit possible exposure to the disease.

Elmwood Elementary in Monsey is one of those schools listed as a polling site. But class will remain in session Tuesday as the public walks in to vote. That's why the Board of Elections says it is working with the school district to keep the entrances and exits separate for voters. All the equipment used for Election Day will be wiped down once the polls close.

Rockland Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert says there are now 46 confirmed cases of the measles in the county, along with another nine suspected cases. Starting Monday, she's ordering all schools in the village of New Square and schools in Monsey and Spring Valley that have a low vaccination rate to keep students who are not vaccinated at home.

That means unvaccinated students will not be able to attend class at the Gruss School for Girls in New Square. But the school is also listed as a polling place, which means people that are potentially exposed could go there to vote.

News 12 reached out to the private school for comment on how it plans to protect students but has not yet heard back.

Health officials say it's important that the public finds out if they're vaccinated as soon as possible. They've been hosting several free clinics in places such as Monsey and are offering more over the next few days in Spring Valley and Pomona.

The East Ramapo Central School District says none of its schools have a vaccination rate lower than 87 percent. It says the district is not included on the county Health Department's list to keep unvaccinated students home.

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