2 New York City Jewish schools closed over failure to heed orders on measles outbreak

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — New York City officials have closed two religious Jewish schools in Brooklyn for failing to comply with Health Department orders regarding the measles outbreak.

Tiferes Bnos and the Talmud Torah D’Nitra preschool are barred from opening until the Health Department approves plans from the schools to prevent unvaccinated students from coming to school, according to reports.

Earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a health emergency and ordered unvaccinated people living or working in four ZIP codes in the largely haredi Orthodox-populated Williamsburg neighborhood to get the vaccine or be required to pay fines of up to $1,000.

“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,” said the health commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “The reality is, the longer it takes schools and individuals to comply with our Order, the longer this outbreak will continue.”

Five schools closed by the Health Department for failing to comply with the regulations about barring unvaccinated students, and compelling the schools to maintain medical and attendance records on site, were authorized to reopen this week, the New York Daily News reported.

In addition, 57 individuals have received summonses for being noncompliant with the Health Department’s emergency order to be vaccinated.

As of Monday, 423 cases of measles have been confirmed in New York since the beginning of the outbreak in October, with 348 of the cases in Williamsburg, according to the Yeshiva World News.