JEC staff member confirmed positive for COVID-19, By Abby Cymerman-Columbus Bureau Chief, Posted March 11th 2020


A Cuyahoga County man who tested positive for the coronavirus is employed by the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland.

“We can confirm that a Jewish Education Center staff person has tested positive for the coronavirus. This individual is now quarantined,” the Jewish Federation of Cleveland said in a statement to the Cleveland Jewish News March 9. The JEC is a partner agency of the Federation.

The individual attended the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference from March 1 through March 3 in Washington, D.C.

“As a precaution, the Jewish Education Center offices will be closed for two weeks,” the statement said. “In the meantime, we will continue to work closely with our local beneficiary agencies – and in concert with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health – to address concerns and care for our community members.”

Earlier on March 9, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine identified three Cuyahoga County residents, including a man in his 50s who attended AIPAC, as well as a husband and wife who were recently on a Nile River cruise, tested positive for COVID-19.

An email to congregants from Green Road Synagogue’s Rabbi Binyamin Blau and Sarah Ehrenreich, administrative and program director, said, “However, they were on the Federation bus. Everyone on the bus has been informed and are required to self-quarantine for 14 days from March 3rd.

“Rabbi Blau has been in contact with the Cuyahoga Board of Health and we have been advised that only those individuals who were on the bus must self-quarantine, their family members may maintain their regular routines. Family members must self-quarantine if the individual that was on the bus experiences symptoms such as cough, respiratory distress, and a sustained fever of 100.4 degrees, and they are advised to contact their healthcare provider.”

Rabbi Avery Joel, head of school at Fuchs Mizrachi School in Beachwood, sent an email to families, “One of these confirmed cases was in very close contact with our students who attended the AIPAC Conference in Washington, D.C. We are currently working closely with our local health department and following their guidance in taking necessary measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“We were instructed by the local health authorities to require students who were in proximity to the infected individual to self-quarantine until Wednesday, March 17, 2020. While we continue to monitor the situation and health department recommendations, our school’s leadership decided to take additional precautions by canceling tonight’s (March 9) 8th-12th grade Purim chagigah.”

This is a developing story.

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