Dear Gerson Mikvah Users ,

Our highest priority is ensuring that attending the Mikvah is a safe, secure, and healthy experience for all women, including users and attendants. We are similarly committed to slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the community. In addition to our established guidelines, we are immediately implementing updated protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These have been prepared and approved by local medical experts and are consistent with the best practices of community mikvaos throughout North America. I have approved the halachic aspects of these changes.

We recognize that these changes represent a change from the normal routine of the Mikvah experience. If you have any concerns related to these changes or to COVID-19 issues, please do not hesitate to reach out to your rabbis or Rebbetzins Miriam Feldman or Rivka Foxbrunner for information or for other support during this time.

The Mikvah attendants and staff are following a detailed and extensive set of guidelines. The following points summarize these guidelines for our Mikvah users:

1. All of the Mikvah pools are filtered and brominated, and chemical levels are checked daily to ensure the safety of the water. According to the CDC, no traces of COVID-19 have been detected in drinking water, and there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through pools or hot tubs. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection will remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19. For more information, visit the CDC website.

2. All staff and users will be screened before being allowed to enter the Mikvah (see screening questions below). Only women who are symptom-free may use the Mikvah. If you are symptom-free but have been exposed to someone with the virus, you may not use the Mikvah for 14 days following that exposure. If you have returned from out of Atlanta in the past 14 days or have been ordered to be under self-quarantine for any other reason, you may not use the Mikvah. We are counting on you to answer these questions honestly. Failure to do so puts the lives of others at risk.

3. The Mikvah will be operating on a Friday night protocol. All preparations must be completed at home before coming to the Mikvah.

4. Appointments will be scheduled to allow proper spacing of appointments to minimize exposure.

5. Upon arrival at the Mikvah parking lot, the user must call the receptionist (404-728-0441) for screening (even if previously completed when the appointment was scheduled). The receptionist will notify the user when it is time for her to enter. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this period of enhanced screening.

6. To minimize contamination, all users should leave their pocketbooks and other unnecessary items at home or in their cars.

7. Users will be directed to a freshly-sanitized preparation room to change for tevila .

8. Preparation rooms will be used only once each night; in the rare event that the volume exceeds the available prep rooms, the on-site staff will fully clean and disinfect any room that will need to be reused. No user will be allowed to use a preparation room that has not been fully cleaned and disinfected.

9. Bath mats in the Mikvah will be changed between users. The Mikvah will continue to provide individually-packaged, single-use, disposable slippers.
10. Every user must wash her hands with antibacterial soap before coming to the Mikvah. It is critical that she washes them thoroughly again in the prep room before entering the Mikvah pool for immersion.
11. Mikvah attendants will wear gloves at all times and will perform handwashing and put on a fresh pair between users. At the current time, there is no need for masks for asymptomatic individuals. A six-foot distance will be maintained between all women.

12. All users should check their own hands and feet thoroughly prior to entering the Mikvah pool. The Mikvah attendant can check user’s back from a distance to ensure there are no stray hairs, dirt, etc. Direct contact (i.e. personal touch) between the Mikvah Attendant and users is absolutely prohibited.

13. All users are strongly encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap before leaving the prep room to return home.

Thank you for your diligence in following the above protocols for the safety of our entire community. It is our hope that strict adherence will protect from further spread of COVID-19 and the need to implement more draconian measures. In the merit of the righteous women of our community and of klal yisroel , may our community merit redemption during these challenging times. We pray to Hashem to swiftly fulfill His promise of “ Va’Hasirosi machala m’Kirbecha (I will remove illness from your midst).

Rabbi Ilan D. Feldman, Rabbi
Devorah Feldman, President, Beth Jacob Mikvah

Screening questions:
1. During the last 14 days, have you had contact with anyone who has lab-confirmed COVID-19, is under investigation for COVID-19, or is hospitalized or being treated at home for a respiratory or febrile illness?
2. Have you had any of the following symptoms in the past 14 days?
o Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher?
o Cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat?
o Pneumonia/flu symptoms?
3. Have you been outside of Atlanta, GA in the last 14 days?
4. Are you a medical professional serving in a hospital?
Anyone who answers “yes” to #1 or #2 may not enter the Mikvah facility under any circumstances. Those answering “yes” to #3 or #4 will be segregated and scheduled with special precautions. Any questions should be addressed to the rabbi for review with medical advisors.