3 Jewish day schools in New York close due to coronavirus fears

3 Jewish day schools in New York close due to coronavirus fears

SAR Academy shuts down ‘for precautionary measures’ after New York governor confirms second case in state; 2 schools in suburbs also halt classes

SAR Academy in the Bronx, New York (Screen grab via Google Street Map)
SAR Academy in the Bronx, New York (Screen grab via Google Street Map)

JTA — Three Jewish day schools in New York closed on Tuesday due to fears of a coronavirus outbreak.

The prominent modern Orthodox Salanter Akiba Riverdale Academy and High School, known as SAR, closed due to a “suspected case of coronavirus” in the community.

In a letter addressed to parents and faculty SAR announced that it would close “for precautionary measures.”

“We are in touch with the New York City Department of Health and following their guidelines,” the letter said.

The letter also said that “it [is] important to remain calm.” The letter lists precautionary measures, including hand washing techniques.

The letter is signed by the principal of SAR Academy, Rabbi Binyamin Krauss, and its two high school principals, Rabbis Tully Harcsztark and Jonathan Kroll.

No one answered the phones at either the academy or high school buildings on Tuesday morning. The schools are in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.

A woman wears a mask amid coronavirus fears in New York, Jan. 30, 2020. (AP/Mark Lennihan)

The Westchester Day School and the Westchester Torah Academy, both in suburban New York, also shut down.

The Westchester Day School, a modern Orthodox school north of New York City in Mamaroneck, closed although it does not have any cases of suspected coronavirus, the school’s executive director, Rachel Goldman, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

The school, which has students in pre-kindergarten through grade 8, closed “out of an abundance of caution” since there is a suspected case of the virus in one of its feeder communities. The suspected case does not have any children in the Westchester Day School, Goldman said.

The Westchester Torah Academy, in White Plains, told parents in a letter sent Tuesday morning that it would be turning buses around and sending children home.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday morning a second confirmed case of coronavirus in New York, a man in his 50s in Westchester County. The first case was announced on Sunday, a 39-year-old woman in Manhattan, a health care worker who had been visiting Iran.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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