BLOCKED: Judge puts hold on Rockland public measles ban

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A ban on unvaccinated children in public places in Rockland County, New York, was put on hold by a state judge on Friday .The controversial ban went into effect late last month in an effort to contain an outbreak of measles that began in October. Nearly 170 cases have been confirmed in the county.Judge Rolf Thorsen scheduled a hearing for April 19 and said the county is temporarily blocked from enforcing the ban.”And petitioners’ children are hereby permitted to return to their respective schools forthwith and otherwise to assemble in public places,” he wrote.

The ruling came in response to lawsuits filed by the parents of local school children, with the parents calling the ban arbitrary and capricious and saying the county acted beyond its legal authority. The suits said the declaration caused “children to be denied attendance at nursery programs and schools and has effectively prohibited their movement and denied them the right to congregate and assemble in public places.”

Related: MEASLES: Rockland County to ban unvaccinated from public places

The judge wrote that the small percentage of cases in Rockland County didn’t meet the definition of an epidemic that the law permitting emergency declarations requires.

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