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Coronavirus triggers closures, mass quarantines for New York Jewish community

This is an evolving story. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency will provide updates as they become available.  

NEW YORK (JTA) — Three Jewish day schools have temporarily closed, while 600 congregants and two university students have been required to self-quarantine as a result of the coronavirus.

Here’s what we know as of Tuesday afternoon: There have been two reported cases of coronavirus in New York, and one is a 50-something Orthodox Jewish attorney from suburban Westchester County. One of his sons is an undergraduate student at Yeshiva University who has not been on campus since Feb. 27, the university told students and staff on Tuesday, and at least one of his children attends the Modern Orthodox day school SAR Academy in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.

SAR, Westchester Day School and Westchester Torah Academy have all closed temporarily due to possible coronavirus exposure, and Temple Young Israel in New Rochelle, also in Westchester, is being required to halt its services immediately. The state is requiring self-quarantine for congregants and those who have attended recent events at the synagogue.

In Orthodox communities, men are required by Jewish law to pray with a quorum of at least 10 men three times daily, so synagogues typically offer several daily services during the week in addition to Shabbat and holiday services.