Clark County, Washington, confirmed 16 cases of measles and five more suspected cases on Wednesday.
Vancouver Public Schools is asking unvaccinated students to stay home from two schools in order to prevent the disease from spreading.
Vancouver Public Schools’ communications director Patricia Nuzzo said the outbreak has affected two of the district’s schools — Lieser School, which houses independent and alternative learning programs such as home school connection programs, and Eisenhower Elementary School.
Nuzzo said unvaccinated students are being asked to stay home, even if they have state-approved vaccination exemptions.
“Students who have not been immunized would not be able to come to school during the incubation period, so that’s anywhere from seven to 14 days, according to our Clark County Health Department,” Nuzzo said. “Even if they have exemptions, that rule would still stand because it would put others at risk if they are in fact infected with the disease and don’t know it yet.”
Nuzzo said the schools’ exclusionary periods will be three weeks from the time of possible exposure. She said students at Eisenhower Elementary without vaccinations will be allowed to return to school Jan. 30. Unimmunized Lieser School students can return Feb. 1.
On Wednesday, the Clark County Public Health Department published a long list of places where people may have been exposed to the measles virus — including medical clinics, churches and elementary schools in Vancouver. Health officials said people may have also been exposed at the Portland International Airport and the nearby IKEA store.