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COVID-19 Update | March 8, 2020

Ellie Goldman

Dear Temple Shalom Family,

This evening we were notified by the Newton Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that a parent of a child in our nursery school has been diagnosed with a presumptive case of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The parent is exhibiting flu-like symptoms. Other information we know at this time:

  • The children in the family are healthy and have not exhibited any symptoms.
  • The family is following the quarantine protocol.
  • The pre-school student was last in the building on Friday afternoon.
  • The parent who tested positive for COVID-19 has not been in the building in the past week.
  • The other parent dropped off the student on Friday morning, has been tested, but results are not yet in.

The Executive Committee, Rabbis, Senior Director of Education, Director of Nursery School, and a number of invited members who are physicians met this evening to determine how to thoughtfully proceed. Rabbi Berry has also been in communication with Newton’s Health and Human Services Department. After following HHS recommendations for a school system case, we determined that the building will be closed tomorrow to allow time for professional cleaning of the facility. We plan to evaluate next steps and communicate those tomorrow.

We will continue to monitor the CDC guidelines and data regarding the progress of this virus. As a community we ask that everyone take precautions to help keep us as safe and healthy as possible.

  • When you arrive at Temple Shalom, wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
  • When you greet fellow community members, use air kisses and elbow bumps. Refrain from hugging and kissing each other and the Torah.
  • We will limit the sharing of food/drink in the building. When food is served, it will be served by volunteers and/or servers wearing gloves and using utensils.
  • Please stay home if:
    • You have traveled to a high-risk country in the last month (Japan, South Korea, China, Italy or Iran),
    • You have had a known exposure to Covid-19
    • You or anyone in your family, including your children, have any flu-like symptoms, even if they are mild.

    If you are ill or choosing to stay away from larger gatherings because you are part of a vulnerable population, please let one of the clergy know via email. We want to care for you so that you do not feel isolated or alone. As the information from the Centers for Disease Control or our local government changes, we will update you as quickly as possible.

    This situation is evolving and we encourage everyone to monitor the Newton Health and Human Services Department’s website for the latest information and any special instructions: http://www.newtonma.gov/COVID19. Residents can find more information from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/frequently-asked-questions-about-covid-19#what-are-the-symptoms-and-complications-of-covid-19?-

    Jewish tradition teaches “kol yisrael arevim zeh ba’zeh – all of Israel is responsible for one another.” Temple Shalom is a strong, vibrant, welcoming community and our goal is to continue moving that vision forward as soon as possible. We will protect each other and protect ourselves to ensure our community stays healthy and safe.

    L’Shalom,

    Fred Kraus, Temple Shalom President
    Rabbi Laura Abrasley, Rabbi Allison Berry, Cantor Leah Shafritz
    Ellie Goldman, Executive Director

Thu, August 13 2020 23 Av 5780