NYC health department shutters a daycare center in Brooklyn for refusing to provide vaccination records as measles rate climbs to 329
- United Talmudical Academy has around 250 kids aged three to five years old and 10 teachers
- It is based in Williamsburg, one of the neighborhoods hardest-hit by the current measles outbreak
- New York City now has 329 cases of measles recorded since October, up from 285 last week
- City officials said they went to United five times in the past week but couldn’t reach an accord so the school was shuttered
New York City health officials have shut down a daycare center in Brooklyn after the school refused to hand over medical records to confirm all their children were vaccinated.
United Talmudical Academy, which has around 250 kids aged three to five years old and 10 teachers, is based in Williamsburg, one of the neighborhoods hardest-hit by the current measles outbreak.
Last week, a state of emergency was declared and all schools in four ZIP codes, including Williamsburg, were ordered to exclude any unvaccinated children from the premises, and confirm that all kids were covered to the Department of Health.
But directors at United did not comply, and on Monday, after the number of measles cases rose another 15 percent, it became the first center to be shuttered by health authorities since the state of emergency was ordered.
‘This is a direct violation of the commissioner’s order requiring that unvaccinated students be excluded,’ Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot said in a statement.
‘The school will be allowed to reopen once they convince us that they are able to, on a consistent basis, keep students in school that should be in school and keep students out of school that should not be in school.’
Barbot added: ‘We recognize that school closures can potentially present hardship for families and that’s not our intent, but if a school is unable and unwilling, we will definitely close them.’
New York City now has 329 cases of measles recorded since October, up from 285 when the state of emergency was declared on April 9.
In a bid to curb the outbreak, health officials are trying to track down anyone who might have come into contact with people who have measles.
Their records show two measles sufferers have connections to United Talmudical Academy.
Barbot said officials visited the school five times in attempts to work with them, but he says their offers were rejected.
United is no stranger to health authorities; teachers also refused to provide vaccination records in 2017.
But parents fear other institutions may follow as city officials work to impose Mayor Bill de Blasio’s state of emergency.
On Monday, de Blasio dismissed the lawsuit filed by Californian anti-vaxxer attorney Robert F Kennedy on behalf of five Orthodox Jewish mothers in Brooklyn opposing the vaccine mandate.
‘We feel very confident about our legal position,’ de Blasio told a press conference, according to the New York Post.
‘When I announced it last Tuesday, I said that… this is something the [city] Law Department feels very strongly about and that everything that’s been done here is fully within our legal rights.’