The weather continues to play its part in stealing the headlines (record rainfall in February and a new storm seemingly every weekend), but it is coronavirus or COVID-19 which now dominates the news.
I know some synagogues have issued detailed guidelines on how to mitigate the risks of this new virus. We have emailed to members and friends the Public Health England guidance we received from Liberal Judaism. I thought it would be useful to repeat this below:
We realise that many people are concerned about Coronavirus and the risk it poses to their community. While we are not in a position to provide advice, we thought it would be helpful to distribute the guidance from Public Health England.
Public Health England has made it clear that the risk of contracting the virus in the UK is low.
However, there are simple steps that people can take as a preventative measure, as is good practice at this time of year.
• Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch coughs and sneezes. • Bin your tissue immediately and wash your hands with soap and water. If you’re unable to wash your hands, hand sanitiser can be used.
• Avoid close contact with those who have coughs and fevers. • Those with coughs and fevers should stay home. If symptoms get worse or people are concerned, they can call NHS 111.
• Follow food hygiene standards such as not sharing food that has been touched by bare hands, providing serving utensils for shared dishes etc…
Please take these simple precautions when you next attend shul.
As I write, it is unclear whether we will be able to use the Peill Room for the time being. The roof suﬀered some damage in the recent heavy wind and rain and is awaiting repairs by NPS.
At our last council meeting, we discussed ideas about making families with young children welcome in shul. So, at our February service, we made the vestry available for our brand new Shabbatots group! I’m pleased to say it was a big success with a small group of toddlers playing happily together, giving their parents the chance to follow the service. I’m delighted to say that some of our older children have oﬀered to help supervise in future. If you have younger children, but are hesitant about bringing them to shul, please give it a go.
Looking ahead, we have our AGM on Wednesday 18 March, and I look forward to welcoming you.