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Judge Blocks Measles “State of Emergency” in Rockland County

A New York State judge has put in place a preliminary injunction against Rockland County’s controversial emergency order banning children from public places without being vaccinated against the measles.


NY State Supreme Court Justice Rolf Thorsen put in place a preliminary injunction Friday to stop the controversial emergency order banning children from public places without being vaccinated, which was put in place by County Executive Ed Day. The emergency was issued in an effort to stop a measles outbreak that has infected more than 16o people since October.

The 30-day order that started on March 26 bans all unvaccinated people under the age of 18 from gathering in public places, including schools, stores and places of worship, as well as from using public transportation.

In the injunction, the judge says the order “may have been misplaced.”

The judge stated his reasoning on the basis that such emergency orders cannot legally exceed five days. He also notes that 166 measles cases in a population of 330,000 people over a six month period does not constitute an “epidemic” meriting an emergency declaration.

Following the ruling, Day said in a statement, “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. 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.”

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