New York Health Officials Worried About Coronavirus Transmissions at Jewish High Holiday Services

Illustrative. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Public health officials in New York City expressed concern on Friday that coronavirus cases could spread as Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn prepare in large numbers to mark Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, along with the subsequent holiday of Sukkot.

The concern is centered on a cluster of neighborhoods in the borough — Borough Park, Kew Gardens, Midwood, Edgemere-Far Rockaway, Flatbush, Bensonhurst and Williamsburg — that have seen recent upticks in coronavirus cases.

Health + Hospitals CEO Dr. Mitchell Katz said he was personally comfortable attending indoor religious services on Monday “but I would be wearing a mask and I would not be sitting next to someone who was not part of my family.”

State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker echoed Katz.

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September 25, 2020 3:08 pm

“This is a holiday season, we recognize the significance of the holiday, obviously,” Zucker told WABC News.

Recommendations for combating the coronavirus from New York’s Health Department continue to stress that large indoor gatherings should be avoided.

New York State law additionally requires that face coverings be worn by everyone older than two-years-old when in public, if they are unable to maintain at least six feet of distance from others.