Dear Commons Community,
Yeshiva University announced this morning that a student has tested positive for COVID-19, making this the third confirmed case of the new coronavirus disease in New York state. As reported:
“We have unfortunately received news this morning that our student has tested positive for COVID-19. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family as well as to all those affected,” the university said in a statement. “We are taking every precaution by canceling all classes on Wilf Campus in Washington Heights for Wednesday March 4th, 2020.”
The statement continued, “This includes all in-person graduate courses on that campus as well as at the boys’ high school. This precautionary step will allow us to work with city agencies and other professionals to best prepare our campus and ensure the uncompromised safety of our students, faculty and staff. “
The school’s three other campuses in Manhattan and the Bronx will remain in operation.
On Tuesday, New York state and city officials announced that the second person with coronavirus was a man in his 50s who lives in New Rochelle and commutes to Manhattan for work. He had not been to any of the countries with outbreaks (China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea), but had traveled to Israel and Miami in February. He is hospitalized in “severe” condition.
His family is also in quarantined in their home. One of his children is a daughter who attends SAR Academy and High School in Riverdale, prompting the school to close its locations, while another child is a son who attends Yeshiva University and lived on the Wilf campus in Washington Heights. The daughter did not have any symptoms, while the son did have symptoms.
Officials also characterized the Westchester man as being the first case of “community spread” of the disease. Community spread is when someone contracts the illness without having been knowingly in contact with someone who also has disease or having traveled to one of the countries where coronavirus first spread.
The temple, Young Israel of New Rochelle, where the man worshipped has stopped its services indefinitely, and worshipers who attended services on February 22nd or a funeral and a bat mitzvah on February 23rd were asked to self-quarantine until March 8.
The first person infected with coronavirus in New York was identified on Monday as a health care professional who had been in Iran. She and her husband, who officials believe will test positive for coronavirus, are in self-quarantine in Manhattan.”
It is likely that Yeshiva is probably going to have to keep its campus closed and try to make other arrangements for its students.