City closes another Williamsburg yeshiva that admitted unvaccinated students and staff

City closes another Williamsburg yeshiva that admitted unvaccinated students and staff
Photo by Kevin Duggan

The city announced the closure of yet another Williamsburg yeshiva for violating the Health Commissioner’s measles order on Tuesday.

Central UTA Boys Division at 762 Wythe Ave. is the 10th school the Health Department shut for not complying with an April 9 order by Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot, which she issued after the highly-contagious illness swept through Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish communities.

Her department shut down the northern Brooklyn school on June 11 for letting students and staff onto its campus despite not providing documentation that they’d been vaccinated, and the school will have to produce those records before they can reopen, according to the city agency.

The educational facility between Penn and Rutledge streets was also slapped with violations for not having an adequate staff-to-student ratio and for not providing the department with vaccination and attendance records within a deadline given by officials.

The health honcho’s order requires anyone above the age of six months living, working, or going to school in certain Williamsburg postal codes to get vaccinated with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR).

Officials have to date confirmed 588 cases of the highly-contagious malady across the five boroughs since the outbreak began last October, three quarters of which occurred in the northern Brooklyn nabe.

The city started issuing summonses to people last week, sending them to 173 people across the city so far, with 68 of those having been cancelled after the violators presented proof that they’ve been vaccinated, according to the department.

Those who continue to defy the city’s orders face a first-time fine of $1,000, which doubles if they keep ignoring the summonses.

The number of infected New Yorkers does show signs of declining, according to Barbot, but she urged the public to continue to work with her department to stem the epidemic.

“School staff, parents, and health care providers need to continue playing their role in bringing this outbreak to an end,” said 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.”

Measles is a highly contagious airborne pathogen that produces symptoms including fever, cough, and a runny nose, and can cause diarrhea, ear infection, pneumonia, encephalitis, and death — with about one of every 1,367 kids infected dying due to fatal complications from measles.

Symptoms can appear anytime from seven to 21 days following exposure, according to the Health Department.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Spreading the message: City officials have tried to inform the public about the dangers of the highly contagious illness through various outreach methods, including this nearby LinkNYC kiosk on Kent Avenue.
Photo by Kevin Duggan