28 North Carolina private students now have chickenpox in an outbreak that started last week.
The number of children infected at the Asheville Waldorf School rose from 13 the previous week, the Buncombe County Health and Human Services Department said.
In a statement, Headmasters said that they provided information to the health department about the outbreak.
The number of unvaccinated children in North Carolina doubled between 2012 and 2016 due to religious exemptions.
The Waldorf School in Asheville now has 28 cases of chickenpox, up from 13 in the last week. The number of unvaccinated children in North Carolina doubled between 2012 and 2016 due to simple exemptions (image file)
In order to receive a medical exemption, parents need a doctor to prove that their child is immunocompromised and harmed by the vaccine, and the state must approve the application to prove it.
However, religious liberation is much easier. There is no mistake. Parents only have to write a letter to the school claiming religious beliefs and their child is exempt.
According to an article from North Carolina's The News & Observer last year, the rate of exempted children for medical reasons remains low (only 180 children). However, religious liberation has increased dramatically from 871 in 2012 to 2,073 in 2016.
The lack of an approval process means "you do not even have to believe in God," said Asheville lawyer Alan Phillips.
Dr. Jennifer Mullendore, Medical Director of Buncombe County, is trying to bring the latest outbreak under control. One of the infected children is attending another school.
Asheville Waldorf, a private school, was opened in 2009 as the Azalea Mountain School.
It offers students from kindergarten through 6th grade with around 130 students up to $ 8,900 a year.
"The Asheville Waldorf School is committed to protecting the health and safety of our community," the school said in a statement.