Here are the basics of New York's religious exemption for vaccination. The move came as the battle against measles outbreaks in Rockland County and New York City continues.
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As Rockland's historic measles outbreak continues, the county has renewed its emergency order designed to contain it.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day on Monday renewed the order for the fourth cases reached 275 since October.

The previous order was set to expire at midnight.

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County Executive Ed Day reacts to the new state law ending religious exemptions from vaccines June 14, 2019 in his office in New City. (Photo: Tania Savayan / The Journal News)

It does not include a commission from the first emergency order that prohibits unvaccinated minors from public places after a court struck it down.

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An order from the county health commissioner also states that schools with less than a 95% vaccination rate in ZIP codes 10952 and 10977 have to keep unvaccinated or under-vaccinated students home for 21 days after the last confirmed measles case in the county. Only five schools are below that 95% mark, county officials said.

Parents and guardians who don't comply can pay $ 2,000 per violation each day.

The measles outbreak started nine months ago, when travelers coming from Israel brought the highly contagious virus into the county. Most of the cases have affected the Orthodox Jewish communities in Monsey and Spring Valley.

There have been 1,077 cases in 28 states since the beginning of the year, the most cases since 1992, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Measles were declared eliminated in 2000, but travelers from overseas and vaccine have contributed to a resurgence of the disease

Most of the cases in the country have been in New York. New York City has 596 confirmed cases since the outbreak began and New York outside of the city and Rockland has an additional 84 cases.

Day said in a released statement that 6,800 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines were given in Rockland County since its first state of emergency was declared on March 26. A total of 23,758 vaccinations were administered since October, he said.

The county issued mandatory vaccination orders at the beginning of June for summer camps, including campers and staff. Shortly after, the state passed a law that removes religious exemptions for vaccines. New York joins several states that only allow for medical exemptions.

"We are making progress against this outbreak and expect to see the number of MMRs given climb higher now that New York has eliminated all non-medical exemptions to vaccination," Day said in a statement. "We will continue to do everything within our power to combat this deadly disease and bring it to a stop once and for all. We all follow the Health Department's advice; get vaccinated against the measles, and if you are sick with measles please stay home. ”

Measles is highly contagious , with 90% of unvaccinated people exposed to the virus liable to catch it. The MMR vaccine is 93% effective after one dose. It stays in the air up to two hours after an infected person leaves the room and a person is contagious up four days before most symptoms, including the tell-tale rash, appear. and 97% effective after two. Health officials recommend children as young as six months receive their first vaccine and then get two more at the regularly scheduled times.

The county offers free MMR vaccines at the Department of Health, 50 Sanatorium Road, Building A. For more information, call 845-364-2497 or 845-364-2520

Twitter: @ReporterRox

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