Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Corona: Air quality in mikveh

26 April, 2020

Question:

Hi. I was just wondering about the air quality in the Mikvah. Say a woman has the virus and doesn’t know … it’s in the air and usually there are no windows in these rooms … And virus could be in the air …

Also women who do use the Mikvah .. and later develop covid signs .. are they being tracked?

I’m sorry, I skipped one month and have to go next week and I’m very nervous to go.

Thank you


Answer:

We appreciate the sensitive nature of this question.

There are a lot of questions about what it means for the Coronavirus to be “in the air.” Current medical consensus is that the greatest concern is transmission from person to person via droplets, which fall quickly out of the air. For Yoetzet Halacha Dr. Deena Zimmerman’s discussion of Coronavirus transmission, please see here.

Social distancing is the most effective method of preventing droplet spread. For this reason, mikva’ot must adopt careful social distancing practices, even between the immersing woman and the attendant, and attendants should wear masks.

Mikva’ot are taking additional precautions as well. To reduce the possibility of contracting infection from contact with surfaces, preparation rooms are disinfected between women.

As a safeguard against the possibility, however remote, of non-droplet transmission through the air, women prepare at home to minimize time spent at the mikveh, and mikva’ot can increase ventilation by opening doors or windows as much as possible. Women who are particularly concerned can wear their masks at the mikveh, except for when they are in the water.

Tracking of women who develop Covid varies from place to place.

There are no absolute guarantees. However, these protective measures are considered significant enough by both halachic and medical authorities to allow for mikva’ot to remain open.

For more information on mikveh and Coronavirus, please see here. You can use our checklist to confirm that your mikveh follows best practices. Please be back in touch with any further questions.


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