Measles state of emergency ends in Rockland County
Rockland County Executive Ed Day has announced the measles emergency in Rockland County is officially over.
The county says it will not extend its emergency order, which expired yesterday.
The declaration forced anyone with measles, or anyone who has been in contact with an infected person, to stay out of public places. Under-vaccinated kids also had to remain home from certain day cares.
County officials tell News 12 that they feel confident the emergency is over because the percentage of new cases has declined dramatically over the last few months compared to when the outbreak began in October.
The number of cases per month has decreased by 29% in May, 63% in June and 42% as of July 25.
The first emergency order was issued in late March when officials were worried the contagious disease was spreading at an exponential rate.
But now, the number of new cases has only increased by a handful in the last few weeks.
It was in the high 270s at the end of June and now it's only 283.
Officials credit that to the more than 25,000 measles vaccines that have been administered in Rockland since October and daily monitoring of more than 100 people exposed to the measles.
Officials also say they've quarantined more people and launched stricter daily monitoring since March for those exposed to the disease.
But while the emergency is over, officials say the outbreak is not. “Despite the state of emergency ending, orders will still be issued. We will not stop until this disease has eliminated and we know it will not return,” says Day.
Health officials say the outbreak will not be officially over until the county goes through two 21-day cycles with no new cases.
The county added it will inspect schools in September to make sure students with previously allowed religious exemptions to vaccines are immunized now that NY has outlawed the practice.
County officials estimate the measles cost Rockland somewhere between $2 million and nearly $6 million since the outbreak first began in October.