(TIME) – New York City officials on Tuesday ordered residents at the center of an ongoing measles outbreak to get vaccinated or face fines up to $1,000, in the latest dramatic move by officials attempting to stop measles outbreaks that are spreading across the country.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, along with Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot, announced a public health emergency related to the measles outbreak at a press conference Tuesday. "This is an unusual action, and it's because of the sheer extent of the crisis," de Blasio said. There have been 285 confirmed cases of measles since October 2018. The majority of cases have been among members of Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish community, primarily in parts of Brooklyn's Williamsburg and Borough Park neighborhoods.
As part of the emergency order, all residents of four Williamsburg zip codes – 11205, 11206, 11211 and 11249 – must be vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella if they are not already. Those found to be in violation of the order could face up to a $1,000 fine, officials said.
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