COVID-19 Update & Protocol
The Maddie Leventhal Mikveh Centre located at the Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto has long established protocols to ensure, to the best we can, that attending the mikveh will be a safe, secure and healthy experience. Please take comfort in knowing that we have once again reviewed and revised our protocols in response to COVID-19 and have the following in place as a part of our new mikvah guidelines:
Updated Mikvah Guidelines:
1. The Maddie Leventhal Mikvah at the BAYT is attempting to maintain a high level of cleanliness and disinfection during the COVID-19 outbreak. Even though we would normally wish to make our Mikvah as accessible as possible to as many people as possible, for safety reasons we must currently limit access to the Mikvah in an unprecedented way, something which we do with much regret.
2. In order to diminish the risk of virus contamination, we are limiting the maximum number of daily users to 12. There will be no multiple women in the waiting room. Since use is by appointment only at this time, we have staggered the appointments in intervals to ensure women do not see or come into contact with one another. The rest will have to defer until a later evening when the Mikvah is not as busy.
3. Only women who are symptom free may use the Mikvah. If you are symptom free but have been exposed to someone with the virus, you may NOT use the Mikvah. If you have returned from out of the country in the past 14 days or for any other reason have been ordered to be under self-quarantine, and you may NOT use the Mikvah.
Here are some of the questions you will be asked upon your screening:
• Have you been tested for COVID-19?
• Have you or anyone in your home experienced any of the following in the last 14 days: o Fever (>38C) o Chills o Shortness of breath o Coughing o Sore throat or hoarse voice o Difficulty swallowing o Loss of smell/taste o Nausea or Vomiting or diarrhea or abdominal pain o Runny nose/sneezing/nasal congestion o Persistent Headache o or unexplained feeling of unwell (Ministry of health COVID-19 reference document for symptoms version 2.0 May 2, 2020) If you have answered YES to ANY of the symptoms mentioned above, YOU CANNOT COME TO THE MIKVAH.
5. To avoid cross-contamination, all users should leave their items such as purses and phones in their car. Payment for the mikvah will be sent via email to avoid payment transactions at the mikvah. Please note no supplies or towels will be provided at the mikvah as a precautionary measure. All preparation must be done immediately before your arrival.
6. All Mikvah attendants will wear new gloves for each user and will wear a mask during their time as an attendant. All surfaces will be wiped down with a disinfectant between each user and at the end of the evening. All bath mats will be changed after each use by the exit of the mikvah water.
7. The Mikvah attendant will remain at a distance of two meters from the Mikvah user, and will be able to do a visual inspection ONLY of the user. Please do not ask the attendant to come any closer to you for any reason.
8. The Mikvah will be tested with chlorine testing strips in-between each use to ensure that chlorine levels are at an acceptable level. If the chlorine levels are below the recommended level, we will turn on the filter for 5 minutes, then turn off the filter and test the levels again before allowing the next woman to immerse.
9. Although this is not normally recommended, under the current health condition we recommend that after Mikvah use, one should go home and take a thorough hot shower with soap and shampoo (see Sefer Tahara K’Halacha, vol. 2 p. 567, footnote 93, quoting Rav S.Z. Aurbach zt”l).
10. After you have successfully answered all our questions, you will receive an invoice and a confirmation that you have answered all our screeing questions honestly.
10. MASKS ARE MANDATORY upon entry to the mikvah , but not required once arriving to your preparation room, please be cautious about where you place your mask when it is removed during this time.
The continued operations of the Mikvah relies on the honesty of all our patrons in answering our screening questions. The safety of our attendants, cleaning staff and of the women using the Mikvah cannot be compromised in any way. Medical advisors and Rabbi Korobkin have advised that if you have ANY of the symptoms listed and are doubtful whether suspected COVID-19 or other, please go to your local testing centre to be tested.
If you have been advised to get a COVID test, and your test result are negative you will be allowed an appointment ONLY upon emailing the test results to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your understanding,
Rabbi Daniel Korobkin, Marah D’Asra, The Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto
Lisa Berman Chair of The Maddie Leventhal Mikveh Centre