498 cases have been confirmed since the beginning of a measles outbreak last October
May 13, 2019 — The Health Department announced today that it has closed a school in Flushing Queens for failing to comply with an Order of the Health Commissioner in response to the current measles outbreak. The Yeshiva of Central Queens (147-37 70th Road, Flushing, NY 11367) was closed today for not abiding by an Order of the Commissioner issued to this school on May 9, 2019, to exclude unvaccinated students for 21 days following a known exposure at the school. An exposure occurs when individuals come into contact with someone who had measles. The school will not be allowed to reopen until the Health Department reviews and approves a submitted corrective action plan that addresses the lapses in complying with the Order. The Health Department had previously closed eight schools—not including the program shut today—for failing to comply with the Commissioner’s Order. All eight have been authorized to reopen under Health Department monitoring after submitting a corrective action plan that was approved by the Department.
“In order to prevent outbreaks in new areas of the City we need parents to get their children vaccinated and schools to exclude children who are not up to date with the measles vaccine. We continue to urge unvaccinated New Yorkers to get vaccinated against measles as soon as possible,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “Exposures outside of the Williamsburg neighborhood have not resulted in sustained transmission because of relatively high levels of vaccination in affected communities. Maximizing the number of individuals up to date with their measles vaccine is the best way to protect our communities.”
In addition, 98 individuals have received summonses for being non-compliant with the Emergency Order since the City began issuing summonses. Any person receiving the summons is entitled to a hearing, and if the hearing officer upholds the summons, a $1,000 penalty will be imposed. Failing to appear at the hearing or respond to the summons will result in a $2,000 fine.
To date, 498 cases of measles have been confirmed since the beginning of the outbreak last October. 399 cases (80%) have occurred in Williamsburg (ZIP codes 11205, 11206, 11211, 11249), which has been under an Emergency Order issued April 9 requiring those who live or work in these ZIP codes to have been vaccinated with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR). A small number of cases have occurred outside of these neighborhoods but have, to date, not resulted in sustained transmission of measles.
The Health Department will continue to expand outreach to the affected community to provide education about the dangers of measles and the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. Since the beginning of the outbreak, the Health Department has:
To stop the spread of measles in New York City, the Health Department on April 9 ordered adults and children ages 6 months and older who live, work or go to school in ZIP codes 11205, 11206, 11211 and 11249 receive a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine within 48 hours. If non-compliant, the Health Department announced it would issue a civil summons to those in the affected ZIP codes who had not been vaccinated as of April 12. For more information, New Yorkers can visit the Health Department’s Measles page.
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