There are several additional cases in Crown Heights since our previous update. Two of these involve individuals who came to Crown Heights from a hotspot state, did not quarantine, and then several days later they became ill and tested positive for COVID. They are now in isolation, and anyone who has been in contact with them during that time has been asked to quarantine.
This is very worrisome. Our elderly and vulnerable are attempting to resume some semblance of their normal lives, and they are relying on us to keep them safe. When individuals come to Crown Heights from places where COVID infections are on the increase, and are during the early phase of their illness (perhaps only feeling mildly symptomatic but not ill), and then shed infectious virus whilst going about “normal” activities in Crown Heights, they jeopardize the lives of those among us who are vulnerable and susceptible to the disease. This concern has been heightened recently by at least one case of reinfection, where a healthy individual who had recovered from COVID became reinfected 3 months later, and ill again. This takes away some of our earlier confidence in community immunity and raises the question of whether those who were ill around Purim may have over time become susceptible once more.
Please please do not visit Crown Heights unless necessary, and if one must come from a hotspot state and has no choice, then the law (fully supported by medical professionals and the Rabbonim) is that they must quarantine here for 14 days (which means staying home, not attending a minyan, where vulnerable individuals may daven, not going shopping, not visiting family, avoiding simchas, etc). We know this is inconvenient, and we hope that this dark time will be behind us very soon, but this is for the safety of all of us, particularly the vulnerable. These instructions equally apply to residents of Crown Heights who are returning from a stay in a hotspot region.
In a similar vein, if anyone has symptoms of the virus, please do get tested and isolate yourself until you receive the results, as laid out in our previous update. If you are tested in a clinic or elsewhere and test positive, and are unsure how to conduct yourself regarding isolation/quarantine, please contact your physician or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and ensure that that you and your contacts get clear instructions.
In all the confusion one thing is clear - social distancing and mask use in close quarters reduces infections. Continue to act with safety first always.
If you have any new COVID symptoms, please fill out this survey: New COVID Symptoms
We are optimistic that whatever cases we are seeing now in Crown Heights are sporadic and possible to contain, and that we will not see a widespread resurgence of cases. However, we must do our part to protect one another and prevent even a single case, if it could be avoided by mindful behaviour. IYH may we continue to stand together as a community and stay safe and well.
- The Gedaliah Society, in conjunction with Dr. Rosen