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Data: Adapted from a CDC chart; Chart: Axios Visuals

Measles cases in the U.S. this year are "certainly going to surpass those in 2018," mainly due to the lack of vaccination in certain groups, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, tells Axios.

Why this matters: The extremely contagious virus, which can cause serious complications like pneumonia, brain swelling and even occasional death, requires a vaccination rate of 93%–95% in order to prevent outbreaks. "Whenever the level of vaccination gets below a certain level, you will get outbreaks," Fauci says.

Driving the news: Rockland County in New York rocked the nation when it declared a local state of emergency starting Wednesday, with a directive barring unvaccinated children under 18 from countywide public spaces unless they are under 6 months or have a medical exemption..

  • The community — which only had a 72.9% vaccination rate in those under 18 — is paying the price with 156 cases reported as of March 28.
  • John Lyon, spokesperson for Rockland County Executive Ed Day, says the directive is considered a Class B misdemeanor, which could have up to a $500 fine and 90 days in jail.
  • "We don't want to put any people in jail, though. That's insane," Lyon tells Axios.
  • But, he adds, they needed to take action after the outbreak had gone on for 6 months and there was growing resistance to their efforts to track the whereabouts of infected people the 4 days before and 4 days after they got a fever when they were contagious.
  • The reason this is needed, Lyon adds, is to inform the public if they were near those places, so they could take action to protect themselves from the worst of the virus by either getting a vaccination or immunoglobulin shot to boost immunity.
  • They are already seeing a large uptick in vaccinations since Wednesday morning, he reports.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows outbreaks reported in New York City, Washington State, Texas, Illinois and California.

The bottom line: "Unfortunately, it will take the reality of the deleterious consequences of non-vaccination in communities" before the outbreak will stop, Fauci says. "This is a virus that can kill you. Most children recover quite well but [some will not.]"

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Amy Coney Barrett sworn in as Supreme Court justice

Amy Coney Barrett took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice at a White House ceremony Monday night, not long after the Senate voted to confirm her nomination to the high court in a 52-48 vote.

The state of play: Justice Clarence Thomas administered the oath. The Supreme Court wrote in a statement that Barrett will take the judicial oath on Tuesday, at which point she will be able to begin her work on the court.

Gulf Coast braces for Zeta after storm strengthens into hurricane

Hurricane Zeta's forecast path. Photo: National Hurricane Center

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency Monday as Zeta strengthened into a hurricane and threatened Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as it moved towards the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The state of play: Zeta was expected to make landfall on the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula Monday night, bringing with it a "dangerous storm surge" and "heavy rainfall" as it moved into the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Service said.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  6. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.

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