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Measles outbreak closes two more Brooklyn schools

2019-08-13

A couple push a stroller past a Yeshiva in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. (Drew Angerer/Getty)

City officials closed two religious schools in Brooklyn on Monday for failing to comply with a Health Department mandate issued in response to a burgeoning measles outbreak centered in the Orthodox Jewish community.

The yeshiva Tiferes Bnos on Marcy Avenue and the preschool Talmud Torah D’Nitra on Bedford Ave. both failed to follow a city order barring unvaccinated students and compelling them to maintain medical and attendance records on site, Health Department officials said.

The schools will not be allowed to reopen until Health Department officials review and approve a corrective action plan from the schools that address ongoing lapses in complying with the order, officials said.

Health Department officials previously closed five schools—not including the programs shuttered Monday —for failing to comply with the order issued by Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot.

All five of those schools were authorized to reopen under Health Department monitoring after submitting corrective action plans that were approved by Department officials.

Barbot said the school closures are needed to stem the city’s largest measles outbreak in more than two decades, where 423 cases of measles have been confirmed since the outbreak began in October.

“Schools that continue to disregard our direction during the outbreak will be closed down until they can prove to the Health Department that they will comply,” Barbot said.

“The reality is, the longer it takes schools and individuals to comply with our order, the longer this outbreak will continue,” she added.

To stop the spread of measles Health Department officials on April 9 ordered individuals who live, work or go to school in four Brooklyn ZIP codes to receive a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination.

Health Department officials said only one New Yorker diagnosed with measles during this outbreak did not report an exposure associated with the Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg, Borough Park, or another area with measles activity.

Reps for Tiferes Bnos and Talmud Torah D’Nitra didn’t respond to calls for comment.