Brooklyn religious schools closed by the city for blowing off city directives intended to stem a growing measles contagion have all reopened for business, health department officials said Friday.
City officials had closed seven yeshivas of for failing to a city order barring unvaccinated students and compelling them to maintain medical and attendance records on site.
The yeshiva Tiferes Bnos on Marcy Avenue and the preschool Talmud Torah D’Nitra on Bedford Ave. were both closed Monday for flouting the rules, city officials said.
Health Department officials had previously closed five schools—not including the programs shuttered Monday —for failing to comply with the order issued by Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot.
By Friday, all of the schools had complied with the mandates and reopened, Health Department Spokesman Michael Lanza said.
Reps for Tiferes Bnos and Talmud Torah D’Nitra didn’t respond to requests for comment.
But Lanza said the city would continue to keep an eye on the religious schools at the center of the city’s largest measles outbreak in more than two decades.
“We need all schools and day care centers to work with us during this outbreak,” said Lanza. “We will continue enforcing our order to protect the health and wellbeing of our city’s children.”
Since the outbreak began in October, where 423 cases of measles have been confirmed.
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.
On April 9, Health Department officials ordered individuals who live, work or go to school in four Brooklyn ZIP codes to receive a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination.
Othodox community activist Samuel Stern said members of the Jewish community – including yeshiva officials- are taking the matter very seriously.
“People are upset for being put in a bad light because of a small number of people who believe in this meshugaas,” he said.
Stern also pointed out that the city’s public schools aren’t required to bar students who refuse the MMR vaccine, but yeshivas are.
“The yeshivas are held to a higher standard than anyone else,” he said.
But Yaffed executive director Naftuli Moster, who’s pushed for greater city oversight of yeshivas, said Mayor de Blasio is handing the schools a sweetheart deal by letting them reopen so soon.
“The fact is you have a serious measles outbreak and an inability to contain it,” he said. “The mayor is trying to come across tough but is also pandering the community.”
One of the city’s biggest yeshiva networks, the United Talmudical Academy, has been cited more than 10 times for refusing to share medical records, according to a Thursday report by WNYC reporter Gwynne Hogan.
The network owes more than $2,400 in fines for non-compliance, Health Department officials confirmed.