Public health officials are warning Orthodox Jewish families in London, Manchester and Gateshead not to house swap with each other during the summer, after a spike in coronavirus cases.
An increased incidence of Covid-19 infections in Stamford Hill since mid-July has led Hackney director of public health to ask the religious community to “be vigilant”, with Barnet’s Health and Wellbeing board citing a similar surge in Golders Green.
In the north-west, health bosses urged Orthodox households not to use each other’s homes, with the head of Bury’s NHS clinical commissioning group Dr Jeff Shryer saying: “What has happened in North London is a reminder of how easily and quickly coronavirus can spread.”
The Orthodox communities of Gateshead, Salford and north London have close links and members often travel between these centres of British Orthodox life, which is worrying public health experts concerned about transmission of the deadly virus.
Dr Muna Abdel Aziz, who is Salford’s director of public health for Salford, said: “We have higher numbers of people testing positive in the last ten days, and real cause for concern. We are working closely with the public health teams in London and also Gateshead, due to the strong links within the communities in the three areas.
“We understand that often in the summer months families from Hackney, Greater Manchester and Gateshead house swap, so we are advising extra precautions.”
In March, more than a week after synagogues closed across the UK, Charedi leaders at the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations said women, children and “elderly and weaker men with health disabilities” should not go to shul, without extending the advice to healthy men, prompting concern.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.