Coronavirus Update #27: Assessment, Antibodies and Rehabilitation

Coronavirus Update for the Crown Heights Community from the Gedaliah Society and Dr. Eli Rosen: Recommendations based on an initial assessment of the number of corona cases in Crown Heights and rehabilitation for those who recovered.

Thank you to all those who have completed the survey. We currently have over 2000 responses, and this information is critical to our understanding of how and when Crown Heights can begin a SAFE return to normal.

Those that have not filled it out yet, please do so now here:
COVID/Antibody Survey. We’re asking ALL members of the community to fill it out, regardless of whether you’ve been sick or not, tested or not. If you’ve filled it out already but something now changed (your results returned, you got tested, etc), please fill it out again.

From a preliminary assessment of the responses thus far, slightly more than 70% of the community appears to have been sick with COVID-like symptoms. The majority of our community have not been tested for antibodies. Among those who have been tested, it appears that approximately 60% are positive for antibodies. It would seem that those with more severe illness (more types of symptoms, more severe symptoms, and longer duration of symptoms) are more likely to test positive for antibodies. These numbers are based on some inherent assumptions and generalizations, and as we continue to analyze the data and collect more responses, these numbers may change.

These observations lead us to think that a large portion of our community (~70%) has had a meaningful interaction with the virus. Of course, this means there is a sizable minority who remain vulnerable to the disease.

As stated many times, we think that those with antibodies (and a majority of those who knew they were sick with the virus) are likely to be immune at least in the short term. Although we expect that this provides some degree of protection, how this relates to herd immunity on a communal level is unclear at this time.

This being said, sporadic cases continue to occur throughout Crown Heights, and there are those not yet affected by the illness, the most worrisome being the elderly.

We as a community have re-entered what is called a “containment phase”. There is no longer a fire raging in our midst, B”H. However, to stay safe, we must contain any new cases and prevent the spread of the illness to those who are still vulnerable. Therefore, it is of extreme importance that anyone with new symptoms is tested for the virus, and their close contacts are quarantined if they have not been sick yet.

Other communities across the globe may be in earlier phases of the pandemic, and with this in mind we are suggesting that hosting relatives and friends from elsewhere should be postponed until such time as the pandemic subsides.

In light of all the above, we are making the following recommendations:

  • Those that are above age 65 and those with underlying health issues, in particular if they have not been ill yetmust continue to take extreme caution as outlined in the prior updates.
  • Anyone with new fever or COVID-like symptoms MUST contact their doctors office and get tested for the virus if possible. Their close contacts, if they have not been sick yet, must quarantine for 14 days.
  • Please, anyone who becomes ill, please fill that out in the survey in the appropriate section (COVID/Antibody Survey). Even if you’ve already filled out the survey, you can fill it out again and document this new information.

We ask the remainder of the community to continue to be mindful of the social distancing policies in place.

We understand that frustration at this prolonged lockdown is building, and many are eager to begin opening up shuls, schools etc. We hope that this will happen in some form soon and we are exploring all angles, but we must make sure it can be done SAFELY and appropriately.

Rehabilitation support:

We are grateful to Hashem for all those who are returning from prolonged hospital stays. Unfortunately many weeks of ICU care, illness and isolation have taken a toll, and many of these patients are in need of comprehensive rehabilitation. To this end a group of “those occupied with the needs of the community” have collaborated with Crown Medical and Hatzalah to develop a “HOME-BASED” comprehensive rehab that will provide for the acute rehabilitation in all domains, with attention given to family and social needs, as well as the myriad of other possible impairments. All therapies will be provided in the refurbished “day-hab” center in the ULY halls on Albany Ave. Patients will be transported to and from the center, for intensive therapy. The center will open on Monday 11th. Healing can and will occur! If you are aware of someone who may benefit from these services, please email [email protected]. If anyone has the expertise to assist these efforts (therapists, nurses, etc) and is interested in being a part, please email that same email address as well.

Social support services:

The COVID Hotline remains available for all COVID related questions. Please email your question to [email protected] with “Hotline” in the subject line. Alternatively, you can call the hotline number, 212-901-2000, and leave a voicemail and someone will call you back.

The Errand Support program remains available for urgent needs such as medication and the like. Please email [email protected] with “Errand” in the subject line. Alternatively, you can call the hotline number, 212-901-2000, and leave a voicemail with your request.

The Mental Health program, in partnership with, continues to provide support and counseling. Please call the hotline, 212-901-2000, and follow the prompts to speak with a licensed professional.

Please – take a moment to fill out the COVID/Antibody Survey if you have not done so, and pass it along among your friends and family here in Crown Heights as well.

Best of health,

-The Gedaliah Society, in conjunction with Dr. Rosen

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