Move is Directly Proportional to the Risk and is Designed to Protect Visitors and Residents Alike, Especially Children
KINGSTON, N.Y. – In response to a growing outbreak of measles throughout New York City and the Lower Hudson Valley, which has recently expanded to include cases in Sullivan and Greene Counties, Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan has directed Commissioner of Health Dr. Carol Smith to issue orders requiring measles vaccination or immunity for all campers and staff, except those with a valid medical exemption, who wish to attend or work at day or overnight camps in Ulster County.
Measles is a highly contagious disease that can lead to serious health complications and death, and children and those with compromised immune systems are particularly vulnerable.
Ulster County Executive Patrick K. Ryan
“As County Executive, I take the health of our residents and extremely seriously,” said Ulster County Executive Patrick K. Ryan. “That is why we are taking proactive action to reduce the risk of a potential outbreak, which would be devastating for Ulster County. These orders reiterate what we know already to be true: that vaccination is a safe and effective way to prevent an outbreak of this highly-contagious condition. I am grateful for the cooperation of our camp operators and workers, and I thank them in advance for their understanding as we address this challenge.”
Dr. Carol Smith, Ulster County Commissioner of Health and Mental Health
“Measles is a highly contagious disease that can cause serious, life-threatening illness. Our primary responsibility as a Health Department is to protect the health and safety of everyone who resides in or visits Ulster County. Our response is directly proportional to the risk and we simply cannot allow for the possibility of a catastrophic and widespread measles epidemic taking hold in Ulster County.”
Details of the order are attached and all inquiries may be directed to the Ulster County Department of Health at 845-340-3009.
Following are the details of the Order for Both Campers and Staff:
A. All children’s day and overnight camps must maintain a list of all campers and staff who will attend or work at the specified summer day camp and/or children's overnight camp, including their dates of birth and the dates they received the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine, or proof of a valid medical exemption or immunity.
B. The Camp Director shall provide a notarized affidavit, affirming under penalties of perjury that the camp is maintaining immunization records for every camper and staff member, as well as a completed “Camper Measles Immunization Records Summary to Identify Potentially Susceptible Individuals.”
C. Camp Directors shall allow only campers or staff members who have provided either 1) proof of immunity, 2) proof of complete MMR vaccination, or 3) a valid medical exemption to attend or work at a day camp and/or children's overnight camp in Ulster County, until such time that this Commissioner's Order is lifted.
D. Notwithstanding, a Camp Director may permit a camper or staff member who is in the process of receiving the MMR vaccine to attend camp. A camper is “in the process of receiving the MMR vaccine” or “in-process” if the camper has received at least a first dose of the MMR vaccine, has an appointment to complete a second dose of the MMR vaccine twenty-eight days after the first dose was administered, and has not been recently exposed to an individual with measles. If a camper is in attendance when the second dose is scheduled, such camper shall receive the second dose, or shall be excluded from camp after the expiration of twenty-eight days after the first dose was administered.
E. Prior to camp entry, the Camp Health Director shall verify all campers and staff have evidence of immunity to measles or a valid medical exemption. Upon arrival to camp, the Health Director or designee shall screen campers, as part of the initial health screening pursuant to the camp’s safety plan, for signs or symptoms of the measles illness.