Messages To The Community From Hatzalah, Achiezer And Dr. Hylton Lightman


HATZALAH: To the Far Rockaway and Nassau County Community,

As you all know, COVID-19 (AKA Coronavirus) has now spread to the New York area and many people are concerned. Hatzalah would like to provide some guidance to the community on this important topic:
First – please do not panic! Although this virus is contagious, it is usually not life threatening in healthy people. It causes symptoms very similar to the flu, including fever, cough, sneezing, body aches, and weakness. It has a greater effect on the elderly and patients with chronic lung disease.
Second – the best treatment is prevention. Please frequently wash you hands with soap and water (20 seconds of lathering and rinsing each time) or a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, such as Purell. As basic hygiene dictates, if you sneeze or cough, please fully cover your nose and mouth.
If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, sneezing, etc. PLEASE STAY AT HOME! Please do not go to shul. Please do not go to work. Please do not go to the stores. If you have mild symptoms it is not necessary to call Hatzalah. Contact your doctor for guidance. Often, your doctors’ recommendations will be to stay at home, rest, take Tylenol or Motrin (Ibuprofen/Advil) for fever, and drink plenty of fluids. If you develop severe symptoms such as trouble breathing or severe weakness, Hatzalah is prepared to care for you. Our members are equipped with appropriate protective equipment to prevent spread of the virus.
As always, Hatzalah is here for the community and ready to provide you with high quality medical care. We hope everyone remains healthy and that you do not need our services.
Hatzalah of the Rockaways & Nassau County Medical Board & Coordinators  

ACHIEZER: Dear Community Members,
At this point, most of us are well aware of the continuing spread of COVID-19 (better known as the coronavirus); including confirmed cases in NYC and Westchester County. As we are also aware of the rampant rumors and misinformation which are causing panic and confusion amongst our community, we are writing to share with you the most relevant, updated and truthful information that we have received thus far as well as what we, as a community, are doing to prepare and hopefully prevent further spread of this virus.  
Please be advised that to date there are no KNOWN cases in our neighborhood.
Please bear in mind that this winter has been one of the most intense flu seasons and if anyone experiences respiratory distress symptoms, it is highly likely that this may be the flu (and most likely not the coronavirus). Following up with your primary care physician should be the normal course of action as always. 
Although likely unnecessary for the following precautions to be spelled out, we urge common-sense and good personal hygiene practices based upon the following guidelines:

  • Regular hand washing (as appropriate) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Covering coughs and/or sneezes with a tissue, discarding the tissue and washing your hands. If you don’t have a tissue available, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Other appropriate actions include avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently handled.

The CDC does NOT recommend that people who are well wear a facemask in order to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. Facemasks should only be used by lay people who have symptoms of respiratory diseases and must be in public – to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. If someone is experiencing flu-like symptoms of any sort, most Poskim have ruled that regardless, one should not attend shul. However, that is beyond the purview of this bulletin and we recommend consulting your own personal Rabbi for direction.

If you recently traveled to a country with ongoing person-to-person transmission of COVID-19, please immediately consult with your primary physician as to the precautionary measures that you and your family should be taking. 
For more information about COVID-19, consult the CDC website (
Lastly, with the guidance of physicians like Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt (Infectious Disease and Epidemiology) and Dr. Zev Carrey (Pulmonary Medicine), we are continuously keeping ourselves updated with any and all recommendations that pertain to the Far Rockaway and Five Towns communities. We are also receiving updates almost hourly from the New York City Department of Health, the Nassau County Department of Health, the Offices of Emergency Management and Hatzalah of the Rockaways and Nassau County to ensure that any accurate information will be shared with the community. We hope that this will alleviate the stress, anxiety and misinformation that potentially may exist.
If ANY further measures are recommended by the CDC and/or our guiding physicians in terms of preparedness, testing, isolation of the elderly etc. we hope to share that immediately with the community.
Wishing a quick recovery to all those affected and we continue to hope that further spread of this virus does not continue.
The Achiezer Team

Dr. Hylton Lightman of Total Family Care, gives insight into how to effectively wash hands to help prevent the spread of germs and the ongoing COVID-19 virus.

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