JCC To Close for Two Days After Child Who Attended Program on Saturday Tested Positive for Coronavirus

The JCC at 76th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, a key Upper West Side gathering spot, will close for Wednesday and Thursday as a precautionary measure after a mother and child who attended a program at the building tested positive for the coronavirus.

Rabbi Joy Levitt, the executive director of the JCC, explained the closure in a letter:

Dear Friends,

We are writing tonight to let you know that we learned today that a child who was in a program at the JCC on Saturday night has since tested positive for COVID-19 along with her mother. Both mother and child are currently asymptomatic and doing well, and we appreciate their quick and honest communication with us. All parents with children in that program have been directly notified of the specific situation.

Out of an abundance of caution, the Board of Directors of the JCC has made the decision to close the JCC tomorrow (Wednesday, Mar 11) and Thursday, Mar 12 in order to do a thorough and deep hospital-grade sanitizing of our building. It is our expectation that we will reopen on Friday; should that change, you will hear from us.

While the Department of Health has not asked us to close any part of the JCC, we believe this is the right decision as we navigate these uncharted waters. Our concern for your health and safety is always uppermost in our minds.

The JCC is more than a building. It is the heart of our community and we are here for you even when we aren’t physically open. We’ll be sending you suggestions about how to stay engaged and connected with the many resources we have available. Our staff will be working diligently to help you find good films, podcasts, articles, and lectures worth taking a look at, and making suggestions about how to stay healthy and connected.

For the latest information, please check our webpage or email us if you have any questions. We will stay in touch as more information becomes available. We are deeply grateful to those of you who have called or emailed with your support for our work during these challenging times. Now it’s time to call the people you love, hold the people you can, and remember that together, we will get through this. We remain committed to the community we are building—one filled with chesed/lovingkindness and connections to one another.

NEWS | 10 comments | permalink
    1. Patricia Forbes says:

      How and why did they get tested if the are both asymptomatic?

      • LK says:

        My guess would be due to exposure to existing patients ( e.g., New Rochelle ). A lot of doctors will be able to test starting tomorrow ( March 11 ) so expect numbers of infected people to rise dramatically.

    2. Steve Suskin says:

      You did the right thing…hoping to come back soon!

    3. MarkR says:

      If the mom and child were asymptomatic why were they tested?
      I hope they both continue to be healthy.

      • jezb says:

        Likely another member of the family had tested positive with symptoms. In cases where there are positive testing within the same household, test would automatically be given to the rest of the household.

    4. Jen says:

      First and most importantly, speedy recovery to the mother and child. Second, as many already asked, why test if asymptomatic? Instead of guesses, can WSR find out? JCC acted properly and closed, but what about schools? School info is essential. I understand where Carranza is coming from- his concern is about where poor children will eat , not where rich in his understanding children are going to die. Food for poor is important , so find halls where poor children can get food!

    5. LCA says:

      Does anyone know where in the JCC the mother and child spent time? They couldn’t have been in the ENTIRE building, but if they were there on Saturday and the cleaning is not occurring until Wed/Thurs, that is many days that others were in the JCC…

    6. Stu says:

      Anyone who knowingly has contact with a carrier of the Virus should get tested, if possible, and ideally self quarantined. That is how you handle the spread. This family likely had contact with an infected person and out of precaution got tested.

    7. swar says:

      Hope the two will recover soon. A follow up question for the JCC is whether children who joined classes on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are at risk.

    8. ESG says:

      Why did the JCC not close immediately. We were there on Tuesday evening and it was still open even as the email came out? Did the infected people not go through the same entrance and exit that everyone goes through?