New York judge blocks county ban on unvaccinated minors in public
New York judge blocks county ban on unvaccinated minors in public

Judge Rolf Thorsen on Friday put on hold the ban on unvaccinated people under age 18 in public places in Rockland County, New York.

The ban, announced on March 27 by Rockland County Executive Ed Day, was an effort to address an outbreak in Rockland County, where 167 confirmed cases had been reported. (New York City has reported nearly 260 confirmed cases of measles as of Friday.) Officials in the county declared a state of emergency last week, announcing that the ban would remain in place for 30 days or until unvaccinated minors receive the MMR vaccine.

Parents and guardians violated the ban would be referred to the district attorney’s office. Violations would be considered misdemeanors, punishable by a $500 fine or up to six months in jail. Thorsen made his ruling after some parents filed a suit calling the action “arbitrary, capricious” and “an unprecedented ‘declaration of a local emergency.'”

“Children are hereby permitted to return to their respective schools forthwith and otherwise to assemble in public places,” Judge Rolf Thorsen wrote in his decision.