Coronavirus Guidelines
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Coronavirus Guidelines

NEW: COVID-19 Vaccine and Fertility
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has come out with a statement regarding clinical recommendations in the face of COVID-19.

Click here to read the ASRM newest update (update 12)
Click here to read the ASRM's newest update regarding the vaccine and pregnancy (January 27th, 2021)
Click here to read the ASRM's lastest update regarding the vaccine and pregnancy (February 5, 2021)
COVID-19 & The Mikvah
Check in with your local Mikvah to ensure that:

a. Preparation rooms are being cleaned and disinfected between each visitor.
b. The Mikvah Attendant (Baalanit) has been trained on proper hand washing.
c. The Mikvah pools are sufficiently filtered and chlorinated.
d. Wait times are spaced to prevent crowding and congestion at the Mikvah.
PUAH Mikvah Guidelines
a. As difficult as this may be, a woman who is in quarantine may NOT immerse in the Mikvah. This includes anyone who has the virus, anyone who has been exposed to the virus or anyone who requires quarantine for any other reason.
b. It is best to prepare at home, if you can, in order to avoid any unnecessary hygienic risk.
c. It is prohibited to have intimate relations with a quarantined partner. This is a question of Pikuach Nefesh as the virus can be spread through bodily fluids. Pikuach Nefesh takes precedence even over the special mitzvah of intimacy on Mikvah night.
d. Maintain safe distances at the Mikvah, specifically during check-in at reception and when engaging with the Mikvah Attendant.
e. To avoid unnecessary spread of the virus, you should check your own hands and feet thoroughly prior to entering the Mikvah pool. The Mikvah Attendant can check your back from a distance to ensure that there are no stray hairs, dirt etc.
f. Any woman who needs to go to the Mikvah but is restricted by a local curfew (which doesn't allow her to be out late enough to dunk) should call PUAH to discuss the option of immersing during the day.
Coronavirus FAQ's
Hi. I was expecting to begin an IVF cycle but my doctor told me that they have cancelled new cycles due to the Coronavirus. I asked when they will start up again and they told me they have no idea. I've been going through a lot recently with my infertility and this is pushing me over the edge. Is there someone at PUAH that can help me get through this extremely difficult time please? Thank you so much for your much needed services!
AnswerHello, I'm terribly sorry to hear about what you are going through. People don't realize how much this Coronavirus is affecting all those undergoing fertility treatment. Thankfully, PUAH has a special team of professionals who are ready to speak with you ASAP! Please call the PUAHCARE team today at 718.736.2216, you shouldn't have to go through this alone. We wish you bracha and hatzlacha and good health!
Good morning Rabbi, can you please answer this very time pressing question. I am scheduled to go to the mikvah tomorrow night. However, I have not been feeling well recently and am currently waiting to hear back from my doctor with the test results. I am not in mandatory quarantine at this time, but my doctor told me to stay home. What should I do about going to the mikvah? Suppose my results come back and I do not have the coronavirus, am I then able to go to the mikvah? Thank you
AnswerFirst of all, refuah shleima for any symptoms you are currently experiencing. I understand that this is a complicated question, as timely immersion in the mikvah is very special and important. However, I must stress the value and importance of your health, the health of your family as well as the health of your community. We know how much the Torah values life, and it would be inappropriate to endanger yourself or anyone else, even for the special mitzvah of immersing in a mikvah. Therefore, if you are not feeling well, you may not immerse in a public mikvah - which means that you will remain in the current state of niddah. As soon as you feel better, you should contact your physician to receive guidelines and instructions for public exposure which includes immersion in the mikvah. In the event that you test positive for the Coronavirus, chas v'shalom, you will receive special instructions from your doctor how to proceed. May you have a quick and speedy recovery along with the rest of the cholei yisrael.
I'm sure you're aware of what's going on with the Coronavirus… My Mikvah night is this Monday (today is Thursday) and I don't know what to do. Baruch Hashem I do not feel sick at all and I do not have any symptoms from any virus or the like. Am I still able to go to the mikvah? Are there any changes in place due to the virus? Thank you so much for this service!
AnswerGood afternoon, thanks for reaching out to PUAH. We have seen statements published by many Mikvaot around the world with their own guidelines and protocols. For the most part, the Mikvaot are open and are cleaning and disinfecting the premises on a very frequent basis. At this time, it seems that women who are not sick and are not experiencing any flu like symptoms may immerse in the Mikvah. It's only Thursday now and things may change by Monday, so I encourage you to be in touch with your local Mikvah on the day of your immersion to verify that they are open.
Hello, I am currently in the middle of an IVF cycle process and I'm very nervous about the Coronavirus. I just had my egg retrieval earlier this week but I'm not sure what to do about my egg transfer - Do you think I should push off the retrieval because of Coronavirus? Is it dangerous to become pregnant (for me or the potential fetus)? I've already been through so much and would only want to push off the cycle if it's absolutely necessary. Thank you for your time.
AnswerHello - this is a very common question at this time, but that doesn't make it any easier to answer. On March 17th, 2020, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) issued their guidelines for fertility treatment during the Coronavirus pandemic. They decided that one should suspend initiation of new treatment cycles, including ovulation induction, intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF) including retrievals and frozen embryo transfers, as well as non-urgent gamete cryopreservation. On the other hand, they are allowing those who are currently "in-cycle" or who require urgent stimulation and cryopreservation to continue treatment. (If you would like to read the entire article, please click here) Therefore, you should speak with your doctor about your retrieval, but most doctors are advising patients to push off treatment based on the ASRM's guidelines. Please feel free to reach out if you want to discuss the ASRM protocols. We are here for you and especially at such a hard time like this. Wishing you bracha and hatzlacha!
I got married 3 months ago and received a heter for birth control that "expires" after 3 months. However, given the current situation with Coronavirus, I am really uncomfortable going off the pill. Is it permissible for me to continue taking my birth control until the situation improves? (Parenthetically, I asked my Rabbi who issued the original heter, but he wasn't sure how to answer and recommended that I ask the rabbanim at PUAH!)
AnswerFirst of all, mazal tov on your recent marriage! The permissibility to be on birth control in general is highly controversial, especially in the beginning of marriage before any children have been born. However, as we all know, we are living in very unsettling times. Although the medical community has not required the public to utilize contraception due to the potential health risks, nonetheless, the research on the relationship between COVID-19 and pregnancy is limited. Therefore, if you are nervous about getting pregnant at this time, it is halachically acceptable to continue taking your birth control pills. That being said, since the situation is changing ever so rapidly, I recommend we revisit this issue on a monthly basis and reevaluate based on the newest developments. I wish you much bracha, hatzlacha, simcha and good health!
Good afternoon. My name is Emily and I am 25 years old with 2 healthy children, BH! I am not currently on birth control and I have been trying to conceive for about 6 months now. However, due to the scare of the Coronavirus, my husband and I are getting more and more nervous about getting pregnant. Do you think we should continue trying or should we go on birth control until things calm down? Thank you so much for your availability and support, especially during these trying times!
AnswerShalom Emily, thanks for reaching out to PUAH and thanks for your kind words - it is our absolute pleasure and honor to help klal yisroel, always! Regarding your question whether to go on birth control due to COVID-19 risks: to date, the CDC has not issued any health warnings against women getting pregnant. Although the research is limited, the studies show that cord blood was unaffected by the virus in the mother. Therefore, although many of the fertility centers have stopped treatments, it's still considered absolutely healthy and safe for a couple to get pregnant. If you are still nervous because the research is limited and new information may be published tomorrow, I completely understand. Should you decide to go on birth control, I recommend that it should be considered a temporary decision which will be reassessed as the medical knowledge becomes more developed.
I am very nervous to go to the mikvah these days and I would like to double/triple up on birth control packs to prevent me from getting a period. Is this halachically acceptable?
AnswerShalom, I understand your concern of going to the mikvah, but please know that the doctors at this time do not believe that mikvah immersion is a dangerous experience. The Mikvaos in general are maintaining rigorous cleansing protocols and are not allowing women who are sick to immerse. Nevertheless, if you are nervous about immersing and prefer not to become a niddah by hormonally manipulating your cycles, you may do so according to halacha. However, you must confirm with your doctor that skipping your placebo week is safe, and you must inquire how many months you are allowed to skip. Doctors typically allow for a woman not to get a period for 3 months in a row, but you must verify with your own doctor. Our psak at PUAH is contingent on your doctor's approval.
I am just about to enter my 9th month of pregnancy be"H. I heard that some hospitals are not allowing the husbands to accompany their wives into the hospital. I also heard that even the hospitals that do not currently have those protocols in place may be changing in the coming weeks. Am I allowed to get induced and give birth this week so my husband will be able to be there for me in the hospital?
AnswerShalom, bsha'ah tova on your pregnancy, we bless you that everything should go smoothly and safely! From a halachic standpoint, we allow for inductions whenever it's medically necessary. For example, if a woman is overdue and the doctor feels that the baby must not grow any more in utero, it would be permissible to induce. However, it would not be permissible to get induced so your child can be born on 02/20/2020! Your situation is a complicated one and you must be in touch with your doctor directly about it. I highly doubt your doctor will feel comfortable delivering you before 39 weeks. In the event that your doctor feels it's medically appropriate to induce now, given the circumstances and your personal medical history, then Halacha would permit it as well. We wish you the best of luck, may Hashem watch over you and all of Klal Yisroel!
Hello, I am nearing the end of my 9th month and I am very nervous to give birth right now! One thing I am afraid of is giving birth on Shabbos or Yom Tov. I have heard in the past that it's best to take a cab (driven by a non-Jew) to the hospital if you go into labor on Shabbos or Yom Tov. The issue is that I am absolutely petrified to step into a cab given the current COVID-19 situation. Under these circumstances, is it permissible for my husband to drive me to the hospital if I go into labor on Shabbos or Yom Tov?
AnswerShalom, bsha'ah tova umitzlachas! The status of a woman in labor is that of a "choleh she'yeish boh sakanah." That means that we are technically allowed to "violate" shabbos in order to care for such a patient. It's true that we prefer to transport women in labor in a cab driven by a non-Jew, but that is only when the option is available. If we don't have access to non-Jewish drivers, it would be permissible for the husband to drive his wife to the hospital, even on Shabbos or Yom Tov. If this need arises, the husband should be careful to turn on/off the car with a shinui, but using a knuckle, arm or some other awkward method. Please do not drive with a shinui, as would be dangerous and forbidden on multiple accounts! Wishing you good health and much hatzlacha!
Hello, I have a niddah question. I went to the Mikvah a few days ago and I'm not expecting my period for another 2 weeks, but today I saw a large stain of blood in my underwear. Based on the timing, I know it's not my period and I'm convinced it's because COVID-19 is stressing me out! I called my doctor and she said it's probably because of stress. Would I still be considered a Niddah in this case?
AnswerShalom, I know that this is a stressful time and I hope you are OK. Despite the fact that the blood isn't "period blood," and the bleeding may be attributed to stress, nonetheless its origin is most likely from the uterus. Since the blood is from the uterus, it can potentially render you a niddah. However, there are a few critical questions to consider in order to make a final determination. Did you feel the blood leaving the body? How large was the stain? Was the blood found on a colored garment? These are important questions that need to be considered before we can make a final ruling. Please feel free to write back or call one of the rabbanim at 718.336.0603. Additionally, please feel free to call and schedule an appointment with someone from our PUAHCARES team. The PUAHCARES team is a group of professionals (men and women) who are available to help with emotional support. Wishing you all the best!
Good morning! My wife had a baby boy a few days ago and the bris is scheduled to take place on the 8th day. The issue is that I was exposed to a positive case of COVID-19 and have begun to develop symptoms unfortunately. As per the doctors, I will not be able to attend my own son's bris and will have to watch it over ZOOM. Am I still able to recite my bracha of "l'hachnios b'briso shel Avraham Avinu?"
AnswerMazal tov on the birth of your new son! May he bring you much nachas and simcha for many years to come! The question of whether or not to recite the bracha is a difficult and heart wrenching one, I can only imagine how difficult it will be not being able to physically participate in your son's bris milah. The answer is actually a debate in the poskim. Rav Elyashiv (zt"l) ruled that the father is able to recite the brocha if he is listening to the bris over the telephone or watching it through zoom. However, Rav Dovid Cohen and Rav Hershel Schachter both felt that the father is unable to recite the bracha without being physically present. It seems like the most halachically appropriate decision is to have the sandek or the mohel recite the brocha, since it's critical to have the minimum amount of people present. Hopefully this virus will leave quickly and you will be able to make a proper seudas mitzvah with all of your family and friends present! Mazal tov again, we wish you much bracha and hatzlacha!
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