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Rabbi who visited school in Beachwood tests positive for coronavirus: School closed rest of the week

The school will be closed for the rest of the week for cleaning.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

BEACHWOOD, Ohio — Students at Fuchs Mizrachi School in Beachwood are being dismissed early Wednesday, and the school will be closed the rest of the week for cleaning after learning a rabbi with coronavirus had recently visited their building.

The school’s spokesperson tells 3News the visitor was at the school approximately 11 days ago, but has since traveled to Israel.

Rabbi Avery Joel, Head of School, issued the following letter to parents and staff on Wednesday:

This morning we learned that someone who came to our school a week and a half ago and participated in our Mizrachi Family Shabbaton, Rav Dov Singer, has tested positive for COVID-19. Thank G-d he is feeling well, and we wish him continued good health.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health has not mandated the school to close. However, as an extra precaution due to the nature of the interactions many in our community had with Rav Dov, we will be closing the school today by 12:00 PM through the end of the week, and plan to re-open on Monday. We will be doing a deep cleaning of the school in the coming days.

Those who were in close proximity to Rav Dov (some of our high school students, teachers, and Fuchs Mizrachi community members who were on the shabbaton) should be in touch with their health care provider to determine if they need to quarantine the 14 day period from the last point of contact (which would be through March 14th). The CCBOH has shared that the further we are from the date of contact, the likelihood of being symptomatic with COVID-19 decreases considerably. Individuals who should seek medical advice are those who came in direct contact with Rav Dov, and does not further extend to family or friends who they were then in further contact with (i.e. exposure to exposure is not exposure).

Health officials in Northeast Ohio have not confirmed this case, however Beachwood Mayor Martin Horwitz did release the following statement to 3News.

One person who has tested positive for COVID-19 worked in association with several Beachwood religious institutions.  Another person from outside the Cleveland area visited staff, students and families from Fuchs Mizrachi School and has since tested positive for the virus.  These two incidents are unrelated.

The organizations where these two people had contact are temporarily closed for purposes of sanitizing their facilities, as recommended by current CDC and public-health protocols. I commend them for acting with an abundance of caution.

Our City has temporarily suspended many community events and has closed its Community Center as a preventative measure.  At this time, it is important to avoid panic, stay informed, and take necessary precautions to keep ourselves healthy and safe.

There are now four confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio. The first three in the state are from Cuyahoga County. The fourth is a 53-year-old man from Stark County, who is the first community-spread case in the state. 

This is a developing story. We will update this article as soon as more information is released.

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