Judge overturns ban on unvaccinated minors in New York county

The state of emergency imposed on Rockland Country would have barred unvaccinated minors from public places

Measles cases have been clustered in parts of Rockland County, NY, that include New Square, an all-Hasidic village. (Uriel Heilman)
Measles cases have been clustered in parts of Rockland County, NY, that include New Square, an all-Hasidic village. (Uriel Heilman)

A New York state judge lifted the state of emergency imposed by Rockland County that would have barred minors not vaccinated against the measles from public places.

The month-long prohibition on bringing the unvaccinated children to places including school, shopping centers, businesses, and synagogues went into effect late last month, in response to a serious measles outbreak.

The county has had 167 confirmed measles cases since October, centered in its Haredi Orthodox Jewish community.

But Judge Rolf Thorsen on Friday put a stay on the injunction, saying the number of measles cases in the county did not meet the legal requirement for an emergency order, WCBS-TV reported.

The judge’s order came in response to a lawsuit filed by a group of parents from the private independent Green Meadow Waldorf School, where many parents have refused to vaccinate their children. The parents said the ban caused “children to be denied attendance at nursery programs and schools and has effectively prohibited their movement and denied them the right to congregate and assemble in public places,” according to The Washington Post.

On Thursday, a group of Rockland Hasidic rabbis issued a statement in Hebrew urging parents to vaccinate their children to stop the spread of measles, according to WCBS.

The ban would have been enforced retroactively, with parents being penalized if they were found to have allowed their unvaccinated children in the public places.

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