Rabbi Alan Joseph, director of development of Lev Miriam Bikur Cholim of Cleveland in Cleveland Heights, said he became aware of 19 new cases of COVID-19 within the community this week.

Joseph sent out an email ahead of Purim notifying members of the Jewish community of the outbreak of the virus.

“These are just cases that come in our direction,” Joseph told the Cleveland Jewish News Feb. 26. “People reached out to Bikur Cholim or ... we’ve been in touch with them.”

Joseph said the nonprofit organization does not track COVID-19 statistics.

Joseph’s email read thus:

“Unfortunately, Bikur Cholim has learned of 19 new cases of COVID-19 this week in the community. With Purim approaching please keep in mind the following: Follow CDC guidelines regarding social distancing and mask wearing; avoid large gatherings; high risk individuals should be extra cautious; if you feel, sick stay home; one who is experiencing the following symptoms of COVID-19, fever, cough, mild shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste of smell, or sore throat, should call his/her doctor’s office. As always please feel free to call Bikur Cholim at 216 320 1771 with any questions or concerns.”

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