Corona: How do I ask about mikveh hygiene?
30 March, 2020
Hi! I need to go to the mikveh this Thursday night (assuming it’s still open…). Can you give me any practical advice about how to check whether they are meeting the latest standards for hygiene and disinfection? There is exactly one mikveh in our town. The mikveh lady is lovely. I’m sure she’s under a lot of stress and I really don’t want to offend her. But I also want to make sure it’s safe! How do I do this?
We suggest that you call your mikveh attendant directly.
Begin by expressing your appreciation for her hard work at a tough time.
Then explain that you have a few questions. The key questions:
- Is the water being treated regularly with chlorine or bromine?
- Is the water being changed (or, if the mikveh uses a filter, is the filter cleaned) every day?
- Are they disinfecting the preparation rooms and mikveh rail between women?
- Is immersion by appointment, with care being taken to keep 2 meters distance between women (including from the attendant)?
If she answers in the negative or is unavailable to answer your questions, explain calmly that you are trying to help her keep women safe and ask her whom you can speak with to get answers or move things forward, and how else you can help. If you do not succeed in making an impact or reaching someone who can, see if you can get other women in your community involved to help. In Israel, you can contact the Religious Affairs Ministry with complaints.
If the mikveh is not maintaining basic standards of hygiene to prevent transmission of Coronavirus, you may need to delay immersion. If it is relevant, you could start looking into mikva’ot in neighboring communities.
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