“Nine private schools in Ramapo face hefty fines for failing to provide Rockland County health officials with a list of students who have not been fully vaccinated against measles. The schools are within a geographical area considered the nexus of Rockland’s measles outbreak that numbers 94 cases as of Thursday.
The schools each face fines of up to $2,000 a day since Nov. 16, according to Rockland County Attorney Thomas Humbach. Administrative hearings are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.
The county has ordered schools in the New Square, Monsey and Spring Valley area to restrict unvaccinated students from attending if the school’s MMR vaccination rate is less than 80 percent. The rule isn’t exclusively for yeshivas, but those are the schools that fit the parameters, county officials said.
The schools are being asked to provide records of students’ vaccination rates. Under state public health laws, schools are required to keep a list of students’ vaccination records. Both health laws and state education laws allow exemptions from vaccination for health and/or religious reasons.
The health department, though, can restrict school attendance under certain circumstances when there are a significant number of cases of a “vaccine-preventable” communicable disease, such as the current measles outbreak in Rockland. A similar attendance restriction has also been instituted in Brooklyn, where New York City health officials say there are more than 40 measles cases in the Orthodox Jewish community.
The county health department uses those records to verify that schools are following the department’s restrictions.
Schools facing fines are:
- Yeshiva Ohr Torah
- Bais Chana Malka
- The Skill Building Center
- Yeshiva Tzoin Yosef Pupa (Boys)
- Yeshiva Tzoin Yosef Pupa (Girls)
- Ateres Bnos (two locations)
- Avir Yakov (Boys)
- Avir Yakov (Girls)
- Bnei Yakov Yosef To read the complete Journal News coverage, click here.