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3 Jewish day schools in NY close due to coronavirus

(JTA) — Three Jewish day schools in New York were closed Tuesday due to coronavirus concerns, including one in New York City, SAR Academy, that said it was due to a “suspected case of coronavirus in our community.”

SAR, which is located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, said in a letter addressed to parents and faculty that it was closing “for precautionary measures.”

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

The Yeshiva World News website reported that the unnamed coronavirus case is the father of an SAR student or students.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday morning a second confirmed case of coronavirus in New York, a man in his 50s in Westchester County.

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

Westchester Day School, in Mamaroneck, said 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 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.

SAR in its letter said “it [is] important to remain calm.” The letter lists precautionary measures, including handwashing techniques.

It was 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.

New York reported its first case of coronavirus on Sunday, a 39-year-old woman in Manhattan, a health care worker who had been visiting Iran.

Six people who contracted coronavirus have died in the United States.