The Health Department announced today that it has closed two more schools for failing to comply with an Order of the Health Commissioner in response to the current measles outbreak. The Order, requires yeshivas and child care programs in certain zip codes to exclude unvaccinated students, and to maintain medical and attendance records on site and provide the Department with immediate access to those records.
The school Tiferes Bnos (585 Marcy Avenue, 11206) and preschool Talmud Torah D’Nitra (1007 Bedford Avenue, 11205) will not be allowed to reopen until the Health Department reviews and approves a submitted corrective action plan that addresses the ongoing lapses in complying with the Order. The Health Department had previously closed five schools—not including the programs shuttered today—for failing to comply with the Commissioner’s Order. All five have been authorized to reopen under Health Department monitoring after submitting a corrective action plan that was approved by the Department.
“Schools that continue to disregard our direction during the outbreak will be closed down until they can prove to the Health Department that they will comply,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “The reality is, the longer it takes schools and individuals to comply with our Order, the longer this outbreak will continue.”
In addition, 57 individuals have received summonses for being non-compliant with the Emergency Order since the City began issuing summonses last week. 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.
Current Case Count
To date, 423 cases of measles have been confirmed since the beginning of the outbreak last October. 348 cases (82%) 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.
Geographic Distribution of Cases
Eight individuals, including the initial case, acquired measles while travelling abroad to Israel (5), the United Kingdom (2) and Ukraine (1), areas with active outbreaks, highlighting the need for MMR vaccination for individuals traveling overseas. A small number of cases have occurred outside of the Williamsburg and Borough Park neighborhoods at the core of the current outbreak. These cases have been diagnosed in residents of Midwood/Marine Park (4), Brighton Beach (2), Flushing (2), Crown Heights (1), Bensonhurst (1), Far Rockaway (1) and the Hunts Point, Longwood and Melrose section of The Bronx (1).