COVID-19 Resources for Families
March 1, 2020
NY State Department of Health Guidelines for Houses of Worship
March 13, 2020

Keeping Our Community Safe Amid Corona Virus Crisis: Medical and Halachic Issues What Rabbis Need to Know

FAQs prepared by Rabbi Dr. Glatt

What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)? Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory (breathing) illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first identified during an outbreak in China. 
Should I worry about getting COVID-19? According to the New York State and New York City Departments of Health, the risk to the public at the present time still remains low. This is obviously a rapidly changing situation and we will keep you abreast of any new developments.
What are the symptoms?  The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the flu. They include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
I have symptoms, should I go to the doctor? As recommended by the CDC, if you suspect you are infected, we recommend you seek medical care following the step-by-step guidance on the CDC website here:
We do ask that if you have respiratory symptoms like coughing, please consider rescheduling nonessential appointments, and call ahead to let your doctor’s office know about your symptoms. This will help us keep everybody safe. 
Please make sure in an emergency situation that you let the hatzalah workers know immediately that you have been exposed or think you have possibly acquired COVID-19 so they can properly protect themselves and have the hospital prepare for your arrival.
How do I get tested? Testing for COVID-19 is currently done only in collaboration with public health authorities. If you are concerned but do not have any symptoms like fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, testing is not recommended.
Which areas is COVID-19 prevalent in? Where do I need to be concerned about traveling? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains the most current list of these countries at
Should I wear a mask to protect myself? Not unless you are sick. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of masks only for people who have symptoms of COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses, such as cough and fever, and for those caring for individuals who have symptoms.
How can I protect myself?

  • Perform hand hygiene either with alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60 percent alcohol) or soap and water.
  • Practice respiratory hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
  • Try as possible to not touch with your hands commonly touched surfaces.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surface.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

I want to know more; what are good sources of information? The best resource for information on the virus is on the CDC website at The CDC provides useful information including frequently asked questions and travel guidance. More information is also available at

Leave a Reply