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Congregation Ariel Participation in Confidential COVID-19 Community Reporting

I am happy to announce that Cong. Ariel now participates in a simple, confidential shul-based system for tracking COVID-19 in the Jewish community. Congregants who believe that they (or a household member) have COVID-19 are asked to report their condition through the confidential Google forms link below. Each case should be reported only once and through only one shul. 

Why congregants should report:

  • COVID-19 is likely to be circulating well into 2021, and we need good information regarding COVID-19 cases in our community to guide the speed and extent to which we normalize religious, family and social life. 
  • Data on COVID-19 cases at the State, City and County level are not nuanced, timely, or relevant enough to provide adequate information for our unique community. As we normalize, we are obligated to set up an early warning system so that we can prevent and address problems that may arise. 

Please note that only a fraction of all cases are symptomatic and recognized. It is likely that all of us encounter contagious people routinely while shopping, at work, relaxing, or at shul, We therefore need to follow public health guidelines regarding social distancing, regardless of what is happening in our community. 

We are conducting our minyanim as safely as possible, and our kehilla should feel proud that B'H we have been adhering to all the guidelines extremely well. Thus, while we can assume that there will occasionally be people at minyan who unknowingly have COVID-19, if everyone continues to be meticulous in following the guidelines, the risk of transmission during services will be extremely low and the number of people needing  to self-quarantine will be minimized.

How to report: 

  • Follow this link to a Google form, and respond to all questions as best you can. If you have difficulty using the form or prefer to report by phone, please contact the Rabbi or his designee
  • Cong Ariel may need to contact the health department to report minyan exposures (to be determined case-by-case, with consideration of how well safety rules were followed during the relevant services). Please, therefore, contact Rabbi Friedman immediately if you had attended minyanim within 2 days before symptom onset.

We will report numbers only and keep identities confidential unless given permission to share them. In rare circumstances, names may need to be shared confidentially with public health agencies under their regulatory authority.

With my prayers that Hashem should respond to our efforts and shelter us under his protective wings

Rabbi Binyomin Friedman

Tue, September 29 2020 11 Tishrei 5781