June 14, 2019 By Max Murray
Two more Williamsburg Yeshivas have been closed in another sweep conducted by the Health Department, as the agency looks to stop the spread of measles.
The United Talmudical Academy’s of Yeshiva Torah V’Yirah, located at 590 Bedford Ave., and UTA 212, located at 212 Williamsburg Street, were both barred from opening yesterday as both schools were unable to provide the Health Department with valid immunization records.
Yeshiva Torah V’Yirah was closed for allowing a number of unvaccinated children and staff on site, according to the Health Dept.
Yeshiva UTA 212 was closed for allowing 35 students who were either unvaccinated or did not have the required number of doses of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine to attend school.
This is the second time Yeshiva Torah V’Yirah has been closed for failing to comply with the Health Commissioner’s emergency order that was issued on April 9.
The order requires those who live or work in the zip codes of 11205, 11206, 11211 and 11249 to receive the MMR vaccine.
“The spread of measles may be slowing down but we are not,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “This is a message to all schools that have been ordered to exclude unvaccinated children — we will not stop our enforcement until the outbreak comes to an end. School staff must do their part to help us end this outbreak and keep New Yorkers safe. We also continue to urge everyone to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families and their communities against measles.”
Before the schools can reopen, they will need to submit a corrective action plan to DOH addressing their past noncompliance.
In total, there have now been 11 schools closed by the Health Dept. Eight of these schools have submitted corrective action plans and have reopened.
Yeshiva Torah V’Yirah submitted its corrective action plan after their first closure but will have to go through the process again to reopen its doors.
To date, 588 cases of measles have been confirmed citywide since October of last year. An overwhelming majority of the cases—74 percent—have occurred within the ZIP codes under the emergency order.
Despite the closures, progress has been made since the April 9 Emergency Order, according to the Health Dept.
More than 50,000 MMR vaccinations have been administered to children 6 months to 18 years citywide since the order went into effect, a 38% increase when compared to the same time period last year. Of those immunizations, 3,844 vaccines were administered to children in Williamsburg, a 99% increase in that neighborhood compared to the same time period last year.
It is unknown when the two Yeshivas will reopen.