Health Dept.: Child care center shut down for violating measles order

Posted: Updated:

A child care center in Williamsburg has been ordered to shut down because of violations regarding measles vaccinations.

The Health Department says United Talmudical Academy has repeatedly failed to provide access to medical and attendance records in response to the current measles outbreak. The school caters to children ages 3 to 5 years old and has about 260 students enrolled.

The order from the health commissioner requires care programs to exclude unvaccinated students and staff and to maintain records on site.

"They are being closed because of not maintaining and not making available attendance and immunization records for students and staff," Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said in a statement. "This is a direct violation of the commissioner's order requiring that unvaccinated students be excluded."

Health Department staff will monitor United Talmudical Academy to ensure it is following the closure order. The center will not be allowed to reopen until its staff have submitted a corrective action plan approved by the Health Department.

Twenty-three yeshivas and day care programs have received notice of violations, but United Talmudical Academy is the first to be shut down.

Since October, 329 people have contracted measles across New York City, mostly in Brooklyn. Since the Department of Health made an emergency declaration last week, 44 cases have been reported.

Twenty-five people have been hospitalized with the measles since the emergency declaration. Three people are still hospitalized; two of them are in intensive care.

At least two children at United Talmudical Academy tested positive for measles.

The department stresses that this is not an attack on the community but really addressing a public health concern.

"These measures are not punitive," says Dr. Herminia Palacio, deputy mayor for health and human services. "They are protective of the people who are vulnerable and at risk so we urge all schools to join us in the effort to be protective of their students and their families and their communities."

The Health Department expects to continue seeing cases since measles has a 21-day incubation period.

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