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Rockland County, N.Y., Declares State of Emergency During Measles Outbreak

In an effort to combat New York State’s largest measles outbreak in decades, Rockland County will declare a state of emergency and ban minors who aren’t vaccinated against the contagious disease from public places.

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The declaration in the suburb of New York City takes effect at midnight Tuesday and expires in 30 days, The New York Times reported.

Rockland County, with a population of more than 300,000 people, has had 153 confirmed measles cases since October 2018, according to county spokesman John Lyon. Of those, 48 have occurred in 2019.

The measles outbreak in New York State began last fall and has so far mostly affected ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Rockland County and New York City, where vaccination rates tend to be lower and anti-vaccination misinformation is more widespread, public health officials have said, The Times reported.

In December, Rockland County barred unvaccinated children from schools with low vaccination rates.

In New York City, health officials have issued an emergency health measure ordering schools in certain ZIP codes to bar unvaccinated students from attending classes, The Times reported.

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