Rockland County Executive Ed Day, Commissioner of Health Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, County Attorney Thomas Humbach, Rockland BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services), Chief Operating Officer Dr. Mary Jean Marsico and New York State Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski discussed the end of the measles state of emergency in Rockland and the challenges still ahead.
“122 days ago, I stood in this same room, with health officials, business leaders, law enforcement and many of you to declare a State of Emergency in Rockland County. On that day in March, we had 153 confirmed cases of measles. Today we have 283. The State of Emergency has ended, but our outbreak is not yet over,” said County Executive Day.
There was a 13% increase in confirmed measles cases between March (40 cases) and April (45 cases), followed by steady decreases from month to month since, with 32 cases reported in May; 12 cases reported in June, and 7 cases reported in July, as of July 25.
In addition to steadily decreasing confirmed cases, MMR vaccinations numbers have climbed, with 25,876 vaccinations given since October 2018. A 52.5% increase since the original state of emergency declaration on March 26, 2019 (8,918 more MMR vaccinations since March 26) shows how Rockland residents have stepped up to protect themselves and their neighbors.
Rockland County continues to offer opportunities for residents to get vaccinated at the Department of Health, 2nd Floor Clinic, Building A, 50 Sanatorium Road, Pomona, NY, in July and August. On Mondays and Tuesdays, vaccines are given from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., and on Wednesdays and Fridays, from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. To schedule an evening appointment, please call 845-364-2534 during regular office hours.
“In the past three weeks alone, we have administered 191 MMR vaccinations during our clinic walk-in hours. I thank all of our residents who have been vaccinated during this outbreak and want to once again reiterate the importance of vaccination to those who are unsure,” said Dr. Ruppert. “Vaccines are safe. Vaccines are effective. Vaccines are the only way to prevent measles and many other dangerous diseases.”
The Rockland County Department of Health (RCDOH) will continue to issue Commissioner’s Orders to those exposed to measles, requiring isolation as per public health requirements. If you are contacted by RCDOH as part of an investigation, you are required to cooperate fully. If you are not immune and can receive the MMR, get the safe and effective MMR vaccine from your provider or from RCDOH.