happenings at achiezer

Achiezer COVID-19 Update Thursday 3/12 4PM
March 12, 2020
Dear Community,

This bulletin is written in response to the numerous community requests for updates on the COVID-19 Pandemic and where we stand within it all.

Please note that we are guided by leading physicians - and specifically for this crisis - we are being advised by epidemiology and infectious disease experts. As always, our goal is to provide accurate and updated information, which of course is subject to change, almost by the hour.

The following are the latest COVID-19 updates as of 4:00 PM March 12, 2020:

* While there are definitely people within our community that are in both voluntary and mandatory quarantines, there are still no confirmed cases or clusters within the community.
* With regards to school closures, while of course each school is making their own decisions, we have been in hourly contact with dozens of school principals and administrators. Furthermore, our staff met directly this morning with Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt (Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Specialist) as well as Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, and the Health Commissioner of Nassau County, Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein. Based on the data currently available, they are not recommending school closures. This is a decision made directly by physicians and healthcare professionals. The health commissioner further stated that the closing of schools cannot be taken lightly, and we cannot forget that if it does take place, thousands of children will be on the streets and frequenting many locations- placing many more at greater risk.
* We have spoken with the NYC Office of Emergency Management and the Mayor's office, whose school closure recommendations are very much in line with the Nassau County recommendations.
* The Vaad Roshei Yeshiva of Torah Umesorah has issued a statement in regards to school closures and we urge you to read that by clicking this link.

While we cannot impose community-wide mandates or protocols, at the urging of our guiding physicians, we implore people to avoid any handshaking whatsoever and refrain in participating from mass gatherings (Please Note: as of this afternoon, Governor Cuomo has placed restrictions on mass gatherings across the state). In addition, any child that has even the slightest sign of a cold or other illness should be kept at home. This will protect the children, the elderly and vulnerable population from possibly contracting any diseases. The same recommendation applies to any adults- do not travel to work if you exhibit any symptoms of cold or other illness. We understand that many shuls have sent out their own advisories, but it is by the advice of our guiding physicians that these same protocols are in place regarding going to shul. It is unfair and dangerous to others to ignore or take these recommendations lightly.

We understand that there are varying opinions regarding the foregoing but we will continue to follow the guidance of true experts in this field. As mentioned earlier, much of this bulletin is subject to major changes, and we will continue to update as necessary.

We are aware that this may get worse before it gets better and together with other organizations, including the JCCRP and local Police Departments, we are working on implementing an emergency plan to address such concerns.

Let us continue to daven that the Rofeh Chol Basar watch over us and protect our community.

The Achiezer Team

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