By Marcy Behrmann Farrell
The New York City Department of Health has rescinded its closure order for Yeshiva of Central Queens. The yeshiva will be allowed to open Thursday morning.
“We’re happy to announce that after conducting a thorough review of the status of all of our student records and all of our processes, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has ordered that YCQ will be fully open tomorrow, May 16, 2019,” said Rabbi Mark Landsman, the school’s principal.
YCQ was closed Tuesday and Wednesday on the orders of the NYC Health Department because of an “exposure” to the measles virus that could have affected students or staff.
“It remains the case that there is no measles outbreak at YCQ, nor is there any documented case of any student, faculty or staff member having contracted or transmitted measles in the last several weeks,” Rabbi Landsman explained.
“This process began because of an outside service provider who apparently was exposed to measles … before coming to the yeshiva, and has not been in the building since May 2nd. As a result, the Department of Health audited the Yeshiva’s vaccination records,” Rabbi Landsman said.
Measles cases in New York City hit a new high of 498 last week. As the number of infections keeps increasing, the department of health has instituted precautionary rules to prevent exposures. The city’s rules require schools to keep unvaccinated students home for 21 days after a possible exposure.
To date, nine Jewish Orthodox schools and daycare centers in New York City have been closed for failing to comply with the measles policy. YCQ, which serves pre-k through eighth graders, is the first school closed in Queens.
The New York City Board of Health allowed the school’s UPK and Yeshiva Education for Special Students programs to remain open as the rest of the school was closed, said YCQ Attorney Jonathan Farrell of Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone, LLP in Mineola.
“We want to thank the NYC officials who worked tirelessly with us to keep our school children safe, the many staff and lay leaders who worked long hours to expedite the reopening, and the faculty who found ways to teach online while school was closed,” said Rabbi Landsman.