Amendment to Schools (Article 49 of the NYC Health Code)

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Effective Date: 
Monday, January 27, 2020
Download Copy of Adopted Rule (.pdf): 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

Article 49 of the New York City Health Code governs health and safety requirements for schools. Children attending Article 49 schools are required to be appropriately immunized pursuant to New York State Public Health Law §2164. On June 13, 2019, New York State Public Health Law § 2164 was amended to remove the availability of a religious exemption from childhood immunization requirements. The Board of Health is amending § 49.05 by establishing a new subdivision (c) for consistency and clarity and to assist in enforcement by providing child immunization requirements that conforms with updated § 2164 of the New York State Public Health Law. This legislative update was in response to two contemporaneous measles outbreaks occurring in Rockland County and New York City. Most of the New York City cases (73%) occurred in the Williamsburg neighborhood and were concentrated among Orthodox Jewish persons. A total of 649 outbreak-associated cases of measles were confirmed in New York City, with rash onsets from September 30, 2018 through July 15, 2019. There were 49 measles-related hospitalizations and 20 admissions to intensive care due to measles complications. Most of the cases (527 or 81%) were diagnosed in people younger than 18. Accordingly, the Board is adopting these amendments to require child immunization requirements to minimize the risk of future vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks.

 The Board is also amending § 49.07 by establishing a new subdivision (d) to require schools that are provided a nurse, public health advisor or school health services aide by the Office of School Health (either through the Department or the Department of Education) to have a medical room that complies with certain requirements. Section 17-187 of the New York City Administrative Code requires the Department to provide upon request to schools with a certain student population a nurse, public health advisor or school health services aide when such schools maintain an appropriate medical room where such health professional can carry out their duties.  The purpose of this rule amendment is to establish such appropriate medical room requirements in accordance with § 17-187 of the New York City Administrative Code.

Finally, the Board is amending § 49.01 so that these changes concerning child immunizations and requirements regarding a medical room also apply to public and private high schools.


Legal Authority

These amendments to the Health Code are promulgated pursuant to §§ 558 and 1043 of the New York City Charter.  Sections 558 (b) and (c) of the Charter empower the Board to amend the Health Code and to include in the Health Code all matters to which the authority of the Department extends.  Section 1043 grants the Department rule-making authority.