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

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Coronavirus: Is the mikveh safe?

14 March, 2020

Question:

I’m scheduled to go to mikveh tonight, but I’m scared of being exposed to Corona. Is the mikveh safe?


Answer:

Yes, any mikveh following Israel’s Ministry of Health, or if abroad, the regulations of their local health department, is safe to use.

On 15 March, 2020, in light of the current fight against COVID-19, Israel’s Ministry of Health updated their regulations.

Upon arrival at the mikveh: Maintain a distance of two meters (six feet) from any other woman in the building.

In the preparation room: Israel’s Ministry of Health’s new guidelines recommend that women prepare at home. (Under normal circumstances as well, if you do not have a bath at home, a thorough shower is sufficient.) Mikveh attendants have still been instructed to clean and disinfect every room between women using the room. Upon entering the preparation room, have a quick shower, check yourself for chatzitzot, and ring for the mikveh attendant. If you complete your preparations (or take a follow-up quick shower) right before leaving for the mikveh, and you don’t want to shower in the preparation room, you can just check yourself there in the mirror for possible chatzitzot and immerse. You should dip once in the mikveh to wet your hair before your usual immersions.

The mikveh itself: In general, at all times, mikva’ot are expected follow strict regulations for hygiene and cleanliness issued by the Israeli Ministry of Health or local health authorities abroad. The water of the mikveh itself presents no danger as long as the mikveh is maintained in accordance with these health guidelines. For your own peace of mind, you can confirm adherence to regulations upon arrival at the mikveh.

Mikveh attendants have been instructed to maintain two meters (six feet) distance from and avoid all physical touch with the woman immersing, and also to wear gloves.

If you are immunosuppressed or at high risk for any other reason, you may need to take special precautions, such as arranging to be the first person to immerse in the mikveh after the water has been changed.


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