A New York county is banning children who have not been vaccinated against measles from visiting public places — the latest and most dramatic attempt to stop preventable measles outbreaks in communities across the country.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day declared a state of emergency related to the measles outbreak and announced the public places ban during a press conference Tuesday, saying officials “will not sit idly by as children in our community are at risk.”

The move follows previous attempts to limit Rockland’s ongoing measles outbreak, which as of March 21 totaled 151 confirmed cases in communities including Spring Valley, New Square and Monsey. The county health department previously asked parents not to send unvaccinated children to school, NBC New York reports, and is offering free MMR vaccines to those who need them. Day called the new policy — believed to be the first of its kind in the country — an “attention grab” meant to “step up our game,” in light of continuing cases and resistance to the efforts of health inspectors.


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