A spike in measles cases in Rockland County, N.Y., has thrown a wrench into the spring high school sports schedule, as at least one baseball game has been relocated as a result of the outbreak.
The Rockland/Westchester Journal News reports that a scheduled junior varsity baseball game between Rye High School and Nyack High School at Nyack will now be played in Rye. Rye City School superintendent Eric Byrne said the district has begun notifying parents about the potential risks of their children participating in sports events in Rockland County, where 157 measles cases have been confirmed since September.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measles is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes and eventually develop into a rash. Rockland County executive Ed Day declared a state of emergency over the outbreak.
As part of the state of emergency order, unvaccinated minors are banned from public places — including schools, places of worship, shopping centers and restaurants — for a period of 30 days. Not included in the ban are parks and outdoor areas, but that hasn’t abated concerns of other school officials throughout the area.
After moving the game, Byrne said that the district would make decisions about other athletic events “based on the advice of public health officials, the district’s health professionals and athletic department officials.”
The New York Department of Health says that the measles vaccine is about 97 percent effective at protecting against the disease, and that in the rare instances when a vaccinated person does contract the virus, their illnesses are milder and less likely to spread.