While the spread of the COVID-19 virus has reached pandemic proportions, there are still things we can do to prevent further community spread: testing of those with symptoms and physical isolation. Importantly, the CDC and the Health department are emphasizing physical distancing, avoiding crowds, and limiting any mingling with folks outside your family to help the community “flatten the curve” of infections, so that the healthcare system is not overwhelmed. By staying home, especially those over age 60 or who have chronic medical conditions, we can spread out the number of severely infected people entering the healthcare system over a longer time period and allow the healthcare system to steady itself and catch up.
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, call your doctor first. If testing is indicated or if you have other questions, you will then need to call the NYS coronavirus hotline. For your convenience we have included some important numbers:
• The NYS Department of Health hotline is 888-364-3065.
• The hotline for those that think they may be infected and have symptoms is: 855-626-7662.
• The Westchester hotline number for those who are under self-quarantine is 866-588-0195.
• The New York State Department of Health Coronavirus hotline may help answer questions regarding COVID-19. For NYS/Westchester county testing, as far as we know, you still need an appointment to get a test.
• How does one get an appointment? Call the NYS Coronavirus Hotline Number: 888-364-3065. What will happen when I call for an appointment? You will get a recording: “If you are concerned that you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, press 11. If you live in the New Rochelle area and would like to request a test, press 2. For all other Coronavirus information press 3.” You likely will be placed on hold for a while, maybe even 40 minutes or longer before speaking to a representative, who will ask you questions to facilitate possible testing.
In these uncertain times, we know there may be people who are anxious or angry about the public health situation and need to talk. The WJC zoom/remote activities are facilitating our spiritual and community connections, while physically being distant. For mental health and well-being, WJC Clergy are available for remote pastoral care.
Further, there are other services available to address your mental well-being. For older folks, please know that if you are feeling anxious and would like to talk to a DOROT social worker, you can call 212-769-2850. (www.dorotusa.org).
From the Town of Mamaroneck, the Community Counseling Center is offering a Coronavirus Coping Skills and Parent Support Line Monday through Friday 12:00 to 2:00pm at (914) 698-7549 press 5 and www.communitycounselingcenter.org/recent-events.
There are also remote learning options from the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, Resources for Challenging Times: https://www.jewishspirituality.org/get-started/resources-for-challenging-times/ for Jewish mindfulness practices to ease your mind in this challenging time and beyond.
We recommend making a schedule or routine for your days and ensure that it includes some remote connections to family or friends—while we need to physically distance ourselves, we should maintain connections in other ways, including actual voice conversations by phone, doing activities together but remotely while on video (e.g., FaceTime and other apps), and computer connections including shared online experiences, such as online games (e.g., Words with Friends).