Kavod v'Nichum and Gamliel Institute provide resources, education, and training along the Jewish end-of-life continuum: from visiting the sick and pre-planning, to care for the body after death, to providing comfort to the mourners.
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Coronavirus Questions and Answers

Questions submitted during the March 8th, 2020 Webinar related to Chevrah Kadisha work and the Coronavirus are listed here along with answers from the Webinar panel of experts. If you have additional questions, enter your questions here and we will post answers on this page under the “Second Wave of Questions.”

Questions Asked During the March 8th, 2020 Webinar

At this time, the panel of experts is overloaded and trying to find time to respond to provide answers. In the mean time, here are questions asked during the webinar:

  • Question: One of the things they do with cattle to protect from spread of illness is have them walk through a container of disinfectant. What about for humans?
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  • Question: Our chevra’s manual has the pages in plastic. Should we disinfect them when we leave the tahara room?
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  • Question: Bleach solution for bottom of shoes, effective?
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  • Question: Should we avoid the use of Mikvah?
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  • Question: What about covering the table with plastic sheeting as an extra layer of protection and then clean the surfaces after removal of sheeting?
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  • Question: Could you suggest some specific alternatives to our current local practice of washing the meitah using a cloth by dipping and redipping in a bucket of water.
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  • Question: During H1N1 it was suggested to put a filtration mask on the deceased because of the aerosol effect. Is this still true with Covid 19?
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  • Question: Is it okay to be re-using sheets/towels from one tahara to another (with laundering between uses)?
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  • Question: How do we handle the Aron during the funeral?
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  • Question: It appears that Iran has suspended their “traditional burials.” Is that where we are headed?
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  • Question: Why does the diagram [of the virus] look like a poppy field?
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  • Question: Please address urine, feces, and pus as well as blood.
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  • Question: The use of Monsel’s solution to stem the flow of blood?
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  • Question: What sort of medical devices are you speaking of that we should be asking the funeral director to remove?
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  • Question: Many of our local groups have always removed the medical devices and asked our funeral directors not to do so?
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  • Question: What besides all cooling the body for 48 hours will normalize the virus?
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  • Question: Is there a likelihood for a 2nd wave during next winter as was the case with Spanish influenza?
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  • Question: How long does the virus last, on surfaces, on bodies, on clothing?
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  • Question: Some additional PPE questions: Footwear? Double gloving?
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  • Question: Our funeral home provides long aprons. Should we request full body gowns?
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  • Question: Is there a specific kind of gown that you recommend? There are so many out there.
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  • Question: What about hair covering?
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  • Question: Can face shields be cleaned and re-used?
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  • Question: Plastic shower caps?
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  • Question: The demo works for the removal of the second glove, but how to take off the first glove?
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  • Question: If you have contaminated the sleeves on the gowns, can you turn the gowns inside out and remove the gloves simultaneously?
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  • Question: In what order do we remove protective clothing?
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  • Question: How/when /where would we remove shoes?
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  • Question: What beyond standard precautions do you need other than additional facemasks, eye shields, double gloving?
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  • Question: If one is over the age of 70 should that person not participate in the Taharah?
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  • Question: Should we have a maximum age for Taharah team members during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic?
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  • Question: When the met/metah is in the  casket is there a concern that the virus may remain potent?
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  • Question: How /where do we place the casket after Taharah and before burial? Normally we place the aron in a visitation room for Shemirah.
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  • Question: Is there any concern that Shomrim may catch the virus? Do Shomrim need to exercise any precautions?
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  • Question: Do you anticipate any difficulty bringing bags of Isreal earth into the country?
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  • Question: Has Israel put any restrictions on for shipment during this period?
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  • Question: If PPE becomes less available/unavailable what would be the procedure to follow?
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  • Question: What about disposable raincoats?
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  • Question: Can the funeral home expect to have the Chevra team clean up after themselves, in the same manner you will require of the funeral home before you come in?
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  • Question: Hand washing? We should presume that the room / sink is compromised.
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  • Question: There is some evidence of fecal transmission, correct?
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  • Question: Are fomites a risk for Coronavirus transmission and if so ho long is the virus viable on surfaces?
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  • Question: Do we know how long the Covid-19 virus is likely to be communicative on a body after death?
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  • Question: Have we found the virus in domestic animals such as dogs and cats? Are they vectors?
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  • Question: Are health & medical personnel required to inform of presence of Coronavirus?
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Second Wave: Questions Submitted After March 8th, 2020

  • Questions will be added here once the panel of experts has a chance to provide answers.

 

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