KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — A New York county has banned unvaccinated children below 18 from public places, including schools and restaurants, in a bid to stem a measles outbreak.
CNN reported that 153 measles cases have been confirmed in Rockland County since last October.
“We’re not punishing the people who are doing the right thing already and following the rules. We just want to encourage everyone to do the right thing so we can stop this outbreak,” John Lyon, director of strategic communications for County Executive Ed Day, was quoted saying.
Lyon reportedly said the measles outbreak in Rockland County was the longest outbreak in the United States since before 2000 when measles was declared to be eliminated.
Public places included schools, restaurants, public buses, synagogues, churches, and stores.
“Public places are defined as: a place where more than 10 persons are intended to congregate,” a press statement by Rockland County Executive Day was quoted saying.
Children who were up to date with their vaccines but were not fully vaccinated against measles because they were too young are exempt from the order.
The county’s order also reportedly does not apply to people older than 18 because the county did not want to stop anyone from going to work.
CNN reported that almost 17,000 vaccinations have been administered in Rockland County during the measles outbreak.
“As this outbreak has continued, our inspectors have begun to meet resistance from those they are trying to protect. They have been hung up on or told not to call again. They’ve been told ‘we’re not discussing this; do not come back’ when visiting the homes of infected individuals as part of their investigations.
“This type of response is unacceptable and irresponsible. It endangers the health and well-being of others and displays a shocking lack of responsibility and concern for others in our community,” Day was quoted saying.