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Measles outbreak continues in Rockland, currently with 180 confirmed cases

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Rockland County Health Department are notifying residents of possible measles exposures in Spring Valley and New City on April 4 and April 5. As of April 11, there are 180 confirmed reported cases of measles in the county.

Anyone who visited the following locations or used the following taxis at these times may have been exposed to measles:

– Spring Valley Drug Pharmacy, located at 180 E. Central Avenue, Spring Valley, NY 10977 on Thursday, April 4 from 1:44 pm to 1:46 pm with risk of exposure until 3:46 pm, and on Friday, April 5 from 2:10 pm to 2:30 pm with a risk of exposure until 4:30 pm.

– Hudson Valley Radiology, located at 18 Squadron Blvd., New City NY 10956 on Thursday, April 4 from 4:30 pm to 5:15 pm, with risk of exposure until 7:15 pm.

– International Taxi that initially traveled to Hudson Valley Radiology, located at 18 Squadron Blvd., New City NY 10956 on Thursday, April 4 from 3:50 pm to 4:30 pm with a risk of exposure until 6:30 pm.
International Taxi that initially traveled from Hudson Valley Radiology, located at 18 Squadron Blvd., New City NY 10956 on Thursday, April 4 from 5:15 pm to 5:45 pm with a risk of exposure until 7:45 pm.

– La Familia Taxi that initially traveled from Refuah Health Center, located at 728 N. Main Street, Spring Valley, NY 10977 on Thursday, April 4 from 1:00 pm to 1:06 pm with a risk of exposure until 3:06 pm.
These times reflect the period that the infected individuals were in these areas and a two-hour period after they left the areas, because the virus remains in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours. If you were present at these locations during these times, especially if you are in any of the following high-risk groups, contact your health care provider by phone right away (call before going for care):

-Pregnant
– A child under 6 months of age
– Immunocompromised or immunosuppressed (when your body can’t fight disease)
– Have not been vaccinated against the measles
– Were born before 1957 and are immunosuppressed

“High community vaccination rates help protect people who cannot get vaccinated because they are too young or have specific health conditions. The best way to help protect yourself and the community is to remain up-to-date with your measles vaccination,” said Dr. Ruppert.

Free measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccines are available for residents six months and older on Friday, April 12, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the Monsey WIC office, located at 23 Robert Pitt Drive, Suite 103 in Monsey, NY 10952. Free MMR vaccines are also available by calling:

– The Rockland County Department of Health at 845-364-2497 or 845-364-2520 to schedule an appointment to get a free MMR vaccine at the Pomona health complex.

– The Rockland County Department of Health Spring Valley Family Planning Clinic is also providing MMR vaccines, by appointment to Family Planning patients. Family Planning Clinic patients can call 845-364-2531 to schedule an appointment.

In addition, MMR vaccines are available at local health care providers or by calling a local federally qualified health center, such as Refuah or Hudson River Health Care. The federally qualified health centers see patients on a sliding fee scale and by appointment. They may require patients new to their centers to have a well visit first, before a vaccine can be given. Visit http://www.nachc.org/about/about-our-health-centers/find-a-health-center/. to find the locations of federally qualified health centers in Rockland.

The Health Department is actively working to contain the further spread of measles. As a result, if you are ill with a fever, rash, or conjunctivitis (red watery eyes) – help protect our community by staying home, not having visitors, and not going out in public. To further prevent the spread of illness, the Department is advising individuals who have symptoms consistent with measles to contact their health care provider, a local clinic, or a local emergency department before going for care. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness.

The Health Department is asking all health care providers to immediately report all cases of suspect measles to the Rockland County Department of Health Communicable Disease Program staff by calling (845) 364-2997 during normal business hours, or (845) 364-8600 after hours/weekends. Health Care Providers can also call this number for additional information.

Residents can get more information about measles by visiting http://rocklandgov.com/departments/health/measles-information/. and by calling the New York State Department of Health toll free Measles Information Line at (888) 364-4837.

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“Meet Our New Human Rights Commissioner” By Rockland County Executive Ed Day

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Without question Rockland County is a “melting pot” of diverse cultures and ethnicities which is exactly why my administration made sure to not rush the process of filling the critical position of Human Rights Commissioner.

We took our time combing through candidates to find the most qualified individual to protect the human rights of our residents.

That search started with an extensive recruitment process through multiple avenues including online job sites, the County of Rockland website, with assistance from the Human Rights Commission, members of the County Legislature, and many other
community members.

Once we gathered a list of leading candidates, we had them interviewed by a panel of top human rights advocates, which unanimously recommended that Spencer Chiimbwe move on to the next step of the interview process.

Most recently, Spencer worked for the County of Rockland as a Grants Specialist for our American Rescue Plan Act Department assisting local organizations and communities navigate the sometimes-complicated grant application processes. But as I share more of this Stony Point man’s background it will be easy to see why he is being appointed to this position.

Throughout his career, Spencer worked in an array of positions that solidified his fundamental understanding of government, which is crucial in this role.

He spent several years working at the ACTION Support Center, securing grants from entities like the Ford Foundation.

He spent several years working in the New York State Senate conducting legislative research and drafting policy documents.

He volunteered for Congresswoman Nita Lowey assisting with constituent services and connecting with community stakeholders.

Spencer spent 5 years working with the United African Congress inspiring community engagement and participation around key issues like health care, domestic violence, education, and empowerment.

He also served as Vice President for the When In Need Foundation, a humanitarian and philanthropic nonprofit working with disadvantaged communities.

All that experience is just the tip of the iceberg for Spencer.

I am confident his extensive experience working across cultural lines will aid him in his new role.

We expect our Human Rights Commissioner to be omnipresent, establish trust, and be proactive in helping residents facing discrimination of any kind.

My appointment of Spencer Chiimbwe as our next Commissioner has been submitted to the Rockland County Legislature and I look forward to celebrating his confirmation in the coming weeks.

I remind our residents that no one person, one department, or one group, can get the job done. The collective ownership and responsibility of protecting human rights starts and ends with every one of us.

We must all commit, as a County, to stand united against any form of hate or discrimination that surfaces.

* Column written by Rockland County Executive Ed Day.

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Rockland County Announces Senior of the Year Awards

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POMONA, NY – County Executive Ed Day and Office for the Aging Director Martha Robles honored two super seniors in Rockland Thursday for their longtime community service to helping others.

Winsome Downie Rainford was named 2022 Senior of the Year for dedicating her life to helping others overcome challenges. Rainford spent 42 years teaching political science while also serving on the Board of Directors of the Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center in Spring Valley. Winsome has also been an active member of the United Methodist Church since 1984, a Helping Hands Homeless Program volunteer, an officer in the Jamaican Civic and Cultural Association of Rockland (JAMCCAR) since its founding 32 years ago, and continues to serve as JAMCCAR’s Parliamentarian and on its Scholarship Committee.

The second honoree Mamta Arya was awarded the 2022 Outstanding Contribution by a Senior Citizen. Arya has called Rockland County home ever since she immigrated here from India in 1976. After earning her master’s degree, she spent 15 years working with people with mental illness, substance abuse, and special needs. With a passion for helping others, she went on to launch her own non-profit “Jeevan Jyoti.” The organization offers free services to seniors including learning new skills or how to take care of their aging body and mind six days a week.

“These recipients are an inspiration to us all,” said County Executive Ed Day. “And a reminder that regardless of where you come from you can make a difference.”

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