Sunday, April 7, 2019

State Supreme Court Judge Rules Against Rockland County Measles State Of Emergency

A State Supreme Court judge has ruled against Rockland County's state of emergency order banning people under the age of 18 who have not received a measles vaccine from public places.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day instituted the ban last month after more than 160 measles cases were confirmed to be infected with the virus.
Since the state of emergency, another six people have been confirmed to be carrying the disease for a total of 167 cases.
The suit against the state of emergency was brought by civil rights lawyer Michael Sussman on behalf of parents of unvaccinated students at Green Meadow Waldorf School in Chestnut Ridge. Another lawsuit was also filed by an unnamed mother from Rockland County.
On Friday, April 5, the judge granted a temporary injunction on the 30-day order enacted on March 26, which for the time being, will end the state of emergency, reported ABC 7.

The judge said the 166 cases cited did not rise to the level of an epidemic or constitute a disaster and that's the county executive issuing the ban "may have been misplaced," the decision stated.
"While today's ruling by Judge Thorsen did not go as we had expected I want to commend those here in Rockland who have used this State of Emergency as an opportunity to get vaccinated and have conversations with their friends and neighbors about vaccination," Day said. "We sought to find a new way to fight back against a disease that was eradicated almost 20 years ago and refused to sit idly by while those in Rockland were put at risk."
Day added that the message of urgency has not changed and the county does not agree with the action in the case.
"One would think that seeing 42 exposures at a local hospital would garner the attention and judicial support it warrants and it is my view that waiting for a medical catastrophe is ill-advised, particularly given the fact that we can see it coming," Day said. "The uptick we predicted when we enacted our Declaration of Emergency, unfortunately, has come to pass with 167 cases and counting."
He added the Department of Health will continue doing everything possible to stem the tide of the outbreak.
Day did not say if the county would appeal the ruling, or what the next steps are.

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