Dear Anshe Sholom,
The Adam R. Straus Memorial Mikvah will remain open for the time being, while putting in place additional safety measures to help minimize risk for those who need to use the mikvah. While there is much that we do not know about this virus, here are some things that have been shared with me by those who are medically knowledgeable:
- Nobody who has any symptoms - cough, fever, flu or cold symptoms, etc. - should come to the mikvah. Everyone requesting an appointment will be asked to respond to a checklist to ensure that they and everyone in their household are in good health before using the mikvah. No one who is quarantined may use the mikvah.
- Bromine kills the virus, and we will raise the levels of bromine in the mikvah in order to ensure this process is efficient. We need to increase the frequency of testing to make sure that the levels remain high. We will also stagger appointments so that immersions take place 15 minutes apart from one another, to allow the bromine to work.
- Social distancing is important, and spacing out the appointments will also mean fewer interactions between people. We will also move to online payments, so that there is less contact between attendants and those using the mikvah, and ask attendants to maintain a six foot distance from those immersing as much as possible.
- The virus can live on surfaces for some amount of time (estimates vary), so keeping the pool and all surfaces clean is important. We will empty and refill the mikvah more frequently, and ask all attendants to wipe down surfaces between users. In addition, to minimize contact with surfaces, we will ask all those using the mikvah to do their preparations at home as much as possible.
- Those immersing in the mikvah should shower and change their clothing upon returning home.
- Mikvah attendants will be asked to take additional precautions, such as wearing gloves, changing their clothing when returning home, and washing their hands with bar soap for twenty seconds in between dunkers. No attendants who are ill or immunocompromised will be on duty.
- The Keilim mikvah is closed until further notice.
Please feel free to reach out to me any time with questions or concerns.
With blessings for health and safety,
Director, Adam R. Straus Memorial Mikvah