NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A controversial measles state of emergency in Rockland County has been lifted, allowing unvaccinated children are no longer banned from going to public places.
Supreme Court Justice Rolf Thorsen ruled Friday in favor of several dozen parents challenging County Executive Ed Day’s order, part of efforts to stop a measles outbreak that has infected 166 people since October.
The judge decided the number of measles cases in the outbreak did not meet the legal requirement for the emergency order.
“The read I get on this right now is we have to wait until this gets much worse,” said Day. “While that may be legally sufficient, I think it is very wrongheaded and I’m hopeful we’re not going be forced to wait to see people get infected.”
The 30-day order enacted on March 26 banned unvaccinated people under 18 from gathering places including schools, stores and churches. Civil rights lawyer Michael Sussman called Day’s action “arbitrary and capricious.”
MEASLES HEALTH EMERGENCY RESOURCES
- NYC.gov Measles Information Page
- Where To Get Immunizations In New York City
- Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR)
- Signs And Symptoms
- CDC Measles Statistics
The judge said such emergency orders cannot exceed five days. He also noted that 166 measles cases in a population of 330,000 people over six months doesn’t constitute an “epidemic” meriting an emergency declaration.
On Saturday, Day released a statement vowing to appeal the decision.
“My Administration refuses to sit idly by while those in Rockland are put at risk,” he said. “All should know that my executive team will meet with our legal and health professionals Monday morning and identify potential new strategies to address this outbreak as we cannot allow this to stand as is.
“It is unacceptable to the health of all in our County and we will do everything in our power to ensure the public health of Rockland is strong and vital,” he said.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)