Rockland extends measles state of emergencyPosted: Updated:
Rockland County officials have declared a third state of emergency in an effort to combat the measles outbreak.
Health and county officials say they are extending the order because the outbreak continues to be a problem in the area with 254 confirmed cases in Rockland County. The second state of emergency order was due to expire this past Saturday, so county officials renewed the order, which will remain in effect until June 24.
This latest emergency order is the same as the health commissioner's two previous orders and does not include any new directives. It mandates anyone infected with or exposed to the measles stay home or face fines.
The order also affects more than 20 schools and day care centers where students must show proof of vaccination or a valid medical or religious exemption.
County health officials say their actions are working. They say more than 21,000 MMR vaccinations have been given in Rockland since the outbreak began in October, and they say that number has increased by more than 4,000 since the declaration of the original state of emergency. "When you have a situation with this kind of consequence to it, that can be damaging in so many ways to health, economy, you don't let up. So we're going to continue on our way," says Rockland County Executive Ed Day.
Free vaccinations are still being offered at the Rockland County Health Department.