Three things to know:
1. Health officials have confirmed 285 measles cases in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens since October 2018. The outbreak has primarily affected the area’s Orthodox Jewish community, many of whom choose not to vaccinate their children.
2. As part of the emergency declaration, New York City leaders are ordering residents across four zip codes in the Williamsburg neighborhood to get vaccinated. Of the city’s 285 confirmed measles cases, 228 have occurred in Williamsburg.
3. The mandate applies to all unvaccinated people in the neighborhood, including children 6 months or older. Individuals who do not receive the measles vaccine could face a $1,000 fine.
“This is the epicenter of a measles outbreak that is very, very troubling and must be dealt with immediately,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference, according to The Washington Post. “The measles vaccine works. It is safe. It is effective. It is time-tested. … The faster everyone heeds the order, the faster we can lift it.”