E-mails from two St. Louis Park Jewish locations reveal that the first test-confirmed cases of coronavirus have hit the Jewish community.
An e-mail sent out Sunday from The Kosher Spot notified the community that one of their employees tested positive for COVID-19. There are reportedly 235 confirmed cases in Minnesota.
Leah Giter, who was named in the email, has been in quarantine since her test on March 15.
“Our understanding is that she is recovering well,” the email said.
The email said that she worked in the store having been exposed on: Wednesday, March 11 from 1:08 p.m.-5:24 p.m. and 6:08 p.m.-8:09 p.m.; Friday, March 13, from 1:16 p.m.-4:09 p.m.; and Sunday, March 15, from 9:56 a.m.-12:29 p.m.
Any employees who worked with Giter during those time periods have been quarantined at home for a period of time that was specified by the store’s medical advisers. Kosher Spot management did not say how long that was.
“Please know that The Kosher Spot adopted a very strict regimen of cleaning and disinfecting for some time prior to March 11, 2020,” the email stated. “Our protocols include regular disinfection of door handles and carts, checkout counters and surfaces, and various electronic equipment that both customers and staff use at the front of the store. As the severity of the crisis has advanced, we have also added limits on the number of customers in the store at one time in order to permit people to maintain the recommended physical distance from each other.”
The store has started offering curbside pickup for groceries as they know people may not want to come into the store.
Bais Yisroel and Kenesseth Israel, the two orthodox synagogues in St. Louis Park, were the last area shuls to close. An email sent out on March 15 said they were going remain open, but KI Rabbi Mordechai Kalatsky said the reversal of that decision came three days later. Darchei Noam closed following Shabbat services on March
In the Monday morning email from the Sabes JCC, CEO Michael Waldman wrote that a relative of a JCC member tested positive. TC Jewfolk has not confirmed if they are referring to Giter or a separate case, and Waldman said that the notification was made out of a desire to be transparent with the community. The relative who contracted the virus had not been in the JCC recently, although the member had been in the building often – most recently on March 12.
“We are urging all of our members, staff, and visitors to follow the guidance of medical professionals and take all necessary precautions to help control the spread of the virus,” Waldman wrote. “Information about COVID-19 is ever-changing. We will stay in touch with you with pertinent updates, but for the most accurate information, we encourage you to visit Minnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
”We are keeping all those who are ill, feeling alone, or struggling during these challenging times in our thoughts and prayers.”