The leaders of New York’s hassidic communities are being urged to limit gatherings to under 10 people to help prevent to spread of coronavirus after 100 people tested positive in Brooklyn and as over 1,000 tests await results.
On Tuesday, the FDNY was called to Ateres Avrohom in South Williamsburg where a wedding with more than 200 guests took place, as the NY Times reports: “The wedding was broken up by two men in Fire Department jackets who arrived in a red pickup truck and dispersed a crowd that had gathered outside the venue’s door.”
A video posted to Twitter shows crowds inside of the wedding venue despite the federal governments recommendation to limit gatherings to under 10 people a day earlier.
For everyone wondering whether @bariweiss tweet earlier is an overreaction; this is video is a wedding taking place in Williamsburg *RIGHT NOW*
The reason there isn’t any social distancing is because the Ultra Orthodox community is NOT TAKING THIS SERIOUSLY.
PLEASE HELP pic.twitter.com/fDwvmgFbWh
— Shulim Leifer (@ShulimLeifer) March 17, 2020
Footage from New York fire marshalls dispersing a Jewish wedding in Williamsburg that disobeyed CDC crowd regulations was shared on social media. Full Story, Photos, Video https://t.co/pWatVCORgs
— COLlive News (@COLLiveNews) March 18, 2020
As the number of known coronavirus cases increases in Brooklyn, which on Tuesday was nearing 160 cases out of 814 citywide, new testing clinics in Borough Park and Williamsburg have begun serving the Hasidic community, Gothamist reports:
This weekend, thousands of tests were conducted at outposts set up by health clinics in Borough Park and Williamsburg, leading to the surge of confirmations on Tuesday, local leaders said.
“We have a lot of positive results now coming back in Williamsburg and Boro Park unfortunately,” said Rabbi Abe Friedman, a community leader who helped set up the testing centers. “People can no longer ignore the precautions the state and the city have implemented. We must take this serious.”
NY Assembly Member Simcha Eichenstein, who represents parts of Borough Park and Midwood, took to social media on Tuesday urging his constituents to practice social distancing. “Everyone has an important role to play to keep your neighbors, your friends, and your community healthy, he said.
We are facing a crisis. Take COVID-19 seriously! pic.twitter.com/WOszigp1Zd
— Simcha Eichenstein (@SEichenstein) March 17, 2020
The White House held a call with Hasidic leaders on Tuesday night and by Wednesday most of the community had closed down, The Forward reports: “Leaders were told on the 45-minute call that shuls and schools should be closed down. Following the call, shuls and yeshivas in Kiryas Joel and most yeshivas in New York City closed Tuesday afternoon.”