June 12, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
A Williamsburg yeshiva was shut down yesterday by the city’s Department of Health (DOH) for failing to comply with the Commissioner’s order intended to reduce the spread of measles.
The Central UTA Boys Division, a K-12 school located at 762 Wythe Ave., failed to bar staff and students who did not provide any documentation proving that they were vaccinated against measles, according to the DOH.
The school earned further violations for not providing Health Department inspectors with vaccination and attendance records by a set deadline and for not having an adequate staff to student ratio.
Before the school can reopen, it will need to submit a corrective action plan to DOH addressing the lapses in complying with the order.
This marks the 10th school that has been shut down for failing to follow the Commissioner’s order, issued on April 9, which requires all people over the age of 6 months who live or work within five ZIP codes in the Williamsburg area to be vaccinated against measles. The previous nine schools have all submitted a corrective action plan and have been reopened.
“School staff, parents, and health care providers need to continue playing their role in bringing this outbreak to an end” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “We’ve seen our weekly case counts decline, but the reality is, this outbreak is not over, and the Health Department will continue to use all the resources and strategies available to us. We urge anyone who can get vaccinated to do so.”
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 five ZIP codes in the Williamsburg area that have been under the emergency order since April.
Since the order was issued, 3,844 vaccines were administered to children in the Williamsburg area, a 99% increase in the neighborhood compared to the same time period last year.