Orthodox ambulance corps Hatzolah is warning the Jewish community to be on guard against the coronavirus — especially during the upcoming High Holidays — after handling a spate of cases.
“We want to advise you that over the last few weeks, and especially over the previous few days, we have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases,” Hatzolah wrote in a notice issued Tuesday by the organization’s central New York City division and published by local Jewish news outlets press.
“While [with God’s help] many of the cases appear to be relatively minor,” the advisory said, “there has been an increase in cases with more severe symptoms as well as hospitalizations and ICU admissions.”
Orthodox communities in Brooklyn were among the hardest hit in New York City at the peak of the outbreak. Hundreds fell ill and dozens, including rabbis, died. Still, thousands defied social distancing guidelines to come together for funerals — photographed in the streets standing shoulder-to-shoulder.
Hatzolah doesn’t want a return to those deadly days, particularly with synagogues packed for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in September.
“There has been enough death and suffering in our community from Covid-19,” the letter cautioned. “Don’t assume that if you have recovered already, or have antibodies, you won’t pass it on to others (or possibly even get sick again). The data is incomplete. We do not want to take any chances with our families and friends!”