Westchester synagogue closed; congregants self-quarantined

The second confirmed case of the new coronavirus in New York state has prompted officials in Westchester County to ask congregants at a synagogue in New Rochelle to self-quarantine.

Dr. Sherlita Amler, the Westchester health commissioner, has directed Young Israel in New Rochelle to "halt all services immediately and for the foreseeable future" because of the potential exposure to COVID-19 in connection with the 50-year-old attorney from the county who became sick on Feb. 22.

"Additionally, congregants... who attended services on February 22, and a funeral and a bat mitzvah at the temple on February 23 must self-quarantine until at the very earliest March 8," Westchester County officials said in a statement. "Those who do not self-quarantine will be mandated to by the County Department of Health to do so."

The man lives with his family including school-age children in New Rochelle. One of his children is staying at home while being monitored for coronavirus. His other child is an undergraduate at Yeshiva University.

"We are working closely with, and following the recommendations of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response and other government agencies to take every necessary precaution to ensure the safety of our community," the university said in a statement. "The student has not been on campus since Thursday, February 27th and is in quarantine with his family."

Yeshiva also said that a law student at its Cardozo School of Law is self-quarantined "as a precaution because of contact with the patient's law firm." The law student is reporting no symptoms, the university said.

The ailing attorney is hospitalized in Manhattan.


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