SUMMER CAMP CRACKDOWN: Sullivan County Gets Tough on Measles; $2,000 Daily Fines For Violations

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The Sullivan County Legislature today unanimously approved Public Health Order No. 1 of 2019, which empowers the County’s Department of Public Health Services to require full measles immunization for staff members and campers at summer camps in the County.

The Order, was created in the wake of the downstate measles outbreak and applies to all camps regulated by the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH).

“We are taking a proactive approach, even though we’ve only had two measles cases thus far,” said District 2 Legislator Nadia Rajsz, chair of the Legislature’s Health & Family Services Committee. “This is another step of many we’ve taken to ensure our residents and visitors enjoy the summer while staying protected from this contagious disease.”

“This Order, effective through September 15, mandates that camp health directors verify all their campers and staffers have presented appropriate evidence of immunity to measles, or have presented proof of a valid medical exemption,” explained Public Health Director Nancy McGraw. “It also requires the camp operator to screen campers and staff members for measles upon arrival to camp, and to find out from parents/guardians of campers whether each camper has had any possible exposure to measles within the last three weeks.”

Should these requirements not be met, the camp operator must not permit the camper or staffer to attend camp. And if a measles case presents itself during the course of the camp’s season, the operator or health director must immediately inform Public Health Services.

Records must be maintained, as well, and both Public Health Services and NYSDOH have the authority to review that documentation upon demand. Should violations be found, a $2,000 fine per violation per day can be levied upon the camp.

“In close collaboration with the State, we are taking every possible action to avoid a measles outbreak in Sullivan County in the coming months,” noted Health & Family Services Commissioner Joe Todora. “This is the latest in a long line of measures we’ve taken, and we’ve found camp leaders eager to comply. This Order allows us to responsibly ensure enforcement, so as to minimize the further spread of measles.”

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Although this is not strict enough, it’s a step in the right direction. There’s no question that there’s no way that an unvaccinated child or staff member should be allowed in camp. Hopefully, this will help keep that from happening. The same rules need to be applied to all bungalow colonies as well.

  2. I’m not sure they can legally “regulate” who rents a bungalow in Sullivan County. They would have to apply the same standards to hotels etc. which I doubt they have the authority to do. As a purely legal matter, the owners of any bungalow colony might be on stronger ground to require proof of vaccination.

  3. The anti-vaxx hoax is bad enough that there are people who actually buy into it. But their insistence that they have the right to impose the risks and dangers on others is completely intolerable.

    Ronald Reagan was once asked about the abortion issue and women’s rights. he stated he was in complete agreement with women’s rights, and that a woman can make all decisions for her own health. But the child whose life is being snuffed out did not volunteer for that, and until he/she could be asked to answer that question, no one has the right to take his/her life. Why bring this issue into discussion? Because even the children whose parents choose to believe the anti-vaxx hoax should not have the authority to put them at risk. Good argument.

  4. In reply to “the little I know”, be careful what you wish for,
    Parental rights have been defined as a constitutional right by the Suprem Court in the Yoder case, A parent can believe what he wants, even if the evidence is thin, no one is in imminent risk because of lack of vaccination, it is a societal issue.

    According to your line of reasoning, you can replace the last line of your post with:
    “Because even the children whose parents choose to believe the circumcision commandment hoax should not have the authority to put them at risk. Good argument.”