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Rockland County Health Department Advises Residents of Recent Rise in Measles Cases Across the United States

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NEW CITY, NY – Rockland County Executive Ed Day advises residents to stay protected from measles as new cases are surfacing across the country. “As the disease spreads in the US, we are taking proactive measures to prevent Rockland County from enduring a repeat of the measles outbreak in 2018, when measles surfaced and a total of 312 cases were confirmed,” said County Executive Ed Day.

Measles is one of the most contagious viruses on earth; 90% of unvaccinated people exposed to the virus become infected. You can catch measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, up to 2 hours after that person is gone. You can catch measles from an infected person even before they have a measles rash. Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis (red, watery eyes), or runny nose. Symptoms usually appear 10-12 days after exposure but may appear as early as 7 days and as late as 21 days after exposure.

The Rockland County Department of Health’s Immunization Action Program (IAP) is in regular communication with the New York State Department of Health to ensure vaccine compliance with the NYSDOH Immunization Requirements for School Entrance/Attendance. The RCDOH additionally acquired a mobile vaccination unit through grant funds in addition to an inflatable 2-lane trailer that will both be utilized for vaccinations.

“We continue to urge residents to check their immunization status and get vaccinated if they are unimmunized. We can prevent cases of measles by keeping up-to-date with vaccinations. The measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine remains the only safe and effective way to prevent the measles. Anyone who is not protected, through past infection or vaccination, is at risk of getting the disease, especially when traveling internationally,” said Maria Souto, MPH, Coordinator of Communicable Disease for the Rockland County Department of Health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging health care providers to be “on alert” for patients with symptoms of measles — a virus declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000 — after 9 cases have been reported across the country since the start of the new year; so far in four states – Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if they were born before 1957, have received two doses of MMR vaccine, or had measles with a lab test confirming immunity. Individuals who are not immune to measles and are exposed are at great risk for developing measles. Speak to your health care provider to determine if you need an MMR vaccination.

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Rockland Green Paper Shredding Event on March 16th in Suffern

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ROCKLAND COUNTY, NY – Rockland Green’s next shredding event is Saturday, March 16 at the Spook Rock Pool, 171 Spook Rock Road in Suffern, followed by one on Saturday, March 23 at Germonds Park, 165 Germonds Road in West Nyack. Both events run from 8 a.m. to noon. This event is open to all Rockland County residents. See flyer below for additional details.

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“Reviving & Rebuilding Rockland One Grant At a Time” By Rockland County Executive Ed Day

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Here in County Government, we are always working to improve the lives of everyone who calls beautiful Rockland home. For this reason, the moment my administration received $63 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds we capitalized on the opportunity to help Rocklanders who struggled significantly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grants we’ve distributed so far include:

Awarded over $1,3000,000 to small businesses.

Awarded $400,000.00 in non-profit rescue grants.

Awarded over $450,000.00 to restaurants.

Awarded $7,000,000.00 in Urban Green Space grants.

But that’s not all. We utilized the funding to a variety of beneficial community programs including the Youth Bureau TEEN Works program and the Spring Valley Youth Police Initiative, completed the Rockland Riverway Feasibility Study- 26-mile path from Palisades to Stony Point, and granted $1.5 million to acquire land for workforce housing.

But as I’ve said time and time again, we will make sure every single penny that we received will be utilized to help our families and as such I am proud to announce our newest grant program that will utilize $500,000 of ARPA funds to further support our nonprofits.

To combat the rates of food insecurity in Rockland County, which have dramatically increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the $500,000 of ARPA funds will be used to establish the Food Security Equipment Reimbursement Grant which aims to provide reimbursement funds to organizations for pantry related equipment expenses that encourage capacity building by increasing and improving the services pantries provide to their communities. This capacity building will ultimately cultivate a more resilient network of food pantries, which can improve their ability to weather future public health emergencies.

Individual reimbursement grants of up to $20,000 will be awarded to select organizations who meet the eligibility requirements for expenses including but not limited to:

Freezers

Refrigerators

Shelving

Insulated Storage Sheds

Lift-gates

Forklifts

Pallet Jacks

Hand Carts

Tents

Tables

Outdoor Heaters

Pantry-Related Software

Awarded organizations may be reimbursed for funds used for eligible equipment expenses incurred beginning January 1, 2024, and until the application submission period closes on May 31, 2024.

When our hardworking families endure a new level of strain these organizations always step up to help and we are honored to reciprocate that level of care and consideration to our heroic nonprofits.

We encourage nonprofits interested to contact our ARPA Department at [email protected] or 845-364-2027.

* This is a weekly column by Rockland County Executive Ed Day

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