Santa Monica daycare to require blood tests before reopening

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- The Santa Monica daycare center that shut down after a baby contracted measles is requiring blood tests for toddlers before reopening.

After the school learned about the measles case on Jan. 31, 14 babies were placed under quarantine. The parents of the infants were told to keep their children at home and not take them out in public for 21 days.

For the toddlers in the daycare center, officials are asking for proof of blood tests to check their immunity before they can return.

The Samohi Infant Toddler Center, which is located on the campus of Santa Monica High School, said the toddler room was expected to reopen on Friday. The 14 infants are expected to be out until Feb. 20, a daycare official said.

Officials said the infant who contracted the measles is improving daily.

The parents affected by the incident, who are teachers in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, will also be required to have blood tests done and provide proof of protection. They can also provide proof of vaccination.

"I'm not surprised. I think the school is trying to be proactive and protective of not just the students but also the community," said parent Andrea Deyoung.

There are now 99 confirmed cases of measles in California. This includes 25 cases in Los Angeles County and 31 in Orange County. L.A. County health officials are urging the public to get vaccinated.

"There have been many scientific studies since that have completely shown that there is no association between autism and vaccinations," said Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, the interim health officer for L.A. County, at a Wednesday news conference.

"Getting vaccinated protects not only the individual receiving the vaccine, but reduces the chance that it can spread to others," he added.

In Sacramento, lawmakers introduced legislation that would prevent parents from opting out of vaccinating their school children due to personal beliefs.

"We have rates in certain districts that are upwards of 15 percent of non-vaccination. This far exceeds the levels determined by the center for disease control necessary to protect public health," said Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica).

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