The following is a joint statement from the Crown Heights Schools on Friday, March 13, 2020 at 12 pm:
Dear Crown Heights Parents,שיחיו
As of this morning, there are 3 confirmed cases that tested positive for COVID-19 in the Crown Heights Community. All are doing well, but they each have had a very extensive exposure to the community.
There are many young people presenting with mild flu-like symptoms who have been tested and are awaiting results.
All the schools in Crown Heights had a joint conference call this morning at 10am with professionals and Rabbonim.
We were advised that all local schools be closed because we expect, or may already be in the midst, of a very large outbreak in the community.
All Crown Heights schools will be closed as of 12pm today until further notice, under the guidance of all the Rabbonim of the Crown Heights Beis Din.
There is no reason for panic or worry. We are taking action as a precaution to keep the vulnerable members of our community safe. Professionals advised that young children should not visit the elderly and that everyone should take extra precautions and stay home as much as possible.
It is very important to note that many children who are carrying the virus will not even appear sick. We need to keep them home regardless, to stop the spread.
Our children will look to us as to how to react to this situation. It is our job as parents and teachers to model calm behavior and to reassure our children by talking to them about bitachon and safe health practices.
If you yourself are struggling with anxiety about this, please reach out to a friend or professional to help you with how to talk to your kids. This is an ongoing situation. Joint efforts are being made to develop home-learning opportunities so that we may continue our sacred mission of teaching Torah to our children. We will do our best to keep the community updated on new policies and when schools can re-open.
Wishing everyone a Gut Shabbos and Besuros Tovos,
The Crown Heights Schools