The outbreak is centered in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities where vaccination rates are far below normal, due to some parents' objections.
Since October, each case has been systematically investigated to determine how many people have been exposed to the ultracontagious virus.
The Westchester County Health Department provides the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine to residents free of charge at its clinics in Yonkers and White Plains (more information is available on the county's website). "Our religion says that you should do it", he said across the street from the Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov school.
The city's health department is doubling down on its earlier order that yeshivas and daycare programs in Williamsburg be sanctioned if they failed to exclude unvaccinated students.
"This is the epicenter of a measles outbreak that is very, very troubling and must be dealt with immediately", de Blasio said at a news conference.
Coffey added that, while it is important to accept others' opinions and let them make their own choices, people should be informed of the health risks associated with remaining unvaccinated.
The health officials will try to persuade any unvaccinated person who has been exposed to measles to get the vaccine.
However some locals, like Miriam, 66, are anxious about how the outbreak may affect their family members. Those who are too young to receive certain vaccines, have allergies to components of vaccines, or are undergoing medical treatment depend on this herd immunity, as they are unable to be vaccinated themselves.
Ross, who was deputy health commissioner at the time, said the church ran a school with about 1,000 children, none of whom were vaccinated. "He called me yesterday afternoon to tell me", she said of her son. Majority of them didn't die but they were admitted to the hospital.
Despite people's religious or philosophical objections to vaccinations, Latimer said, the science is clear.
Luisa Fuel, 73, has lived in Williamsburg for 42 years since she came from Ecuador, and has a daughter who went to P.S. 16 Leonard Dunkly elementary school.
Indeed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was quick to declare the city's action "legally questionable" and "a serious First Amendment issue" - though his failure to suggest any practical alternative suggests this was mostly his usual automatic dumping-on-de Blasio. Unvaccinated individuals should have their shots within 48 hours or face $1,000 fine.
City officials said that insured adults and children will be covered.
Twisted anti-vaxxer parents are holding "measles parties" so their children catch the frequently fatal virus instead of being vaccinated.
"Choosing not to vaccinate without a medical reason is putting the rights of other children and their parents in jeopardy", said Dinowitz.
As anti-vaccination movements continue to rise, Coffey explained that the widespread opposition to vaccination is mainly based in false news about side effects.
Vaccines will work if given within three days of exposure, and immunoglobulin can work within six days of exposure.