March 9, 2020

Regarding the Coronavirus

From Lino Covarrubias, CEO

Dear Friends,

As we have all been hearing news about the coronavirus, I wanted to let you know that we at JFS of Metrowest are working closely with the Framingham Health Department and other community leaders to ensure that we are following recommended best practices to prevent the spread of illness and protect the health and safety of our staff, clients, and volunteers.

On Friday, I attended a meeting hosted by the Metrowest Health Foundation where local organizations received the latest updates from Sam Wong, Ph.D., Framingham’s Director of Public Health.

The focus is on prevention at this time. In our area, the assessment is that risk continues to be low, but it is important to have practices in place if the situation changes. Collectively, we are taking this very seriously and are being vigilant. Currently, the recommendation is for us to respond with common sense best practices as we would during any flu or cold season.

Here are recommended ways you can protect your own health and stop the spread of disease:

  • If you’re not feeling well, please stay home. Even if you think you have the common cold, stay home until your symptoms are gone and/or advised accordingly by health or medical professionals.
  • Take precautions for staying healthy during cold and flu season, including washing your hands often [for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol], coughing or sneezing into your elbow, getting your flu shot, and observing personal space. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wipe down shared surfaces and other items (keyboards, door knobs, light switches, cell phones) before you start your day.
  • If you need assistance from JFS and feel ill, please call us instead of stopping by the office. We will figure out a way to assist you including doing a home visit.

Our partner CJP JEMS (Jewish Emergency Management System) has put out some great guidance with general information and some specific to synagogues. Here is the link:;jsessionid=00000000.app314b?em_id=64650.0&dlv_id=61894&NONCE_TOKEN=72691A821AE66E34E9428D6DD5B6EEC2

Additional medical guidelines specific to COVID-19 can be found on the websites for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Per the Framingham Health Department, these organizations are the authorities on COVID-19.

Also, here are two Health Department documents with more information:

and here are links to information on (printable fact sheets available in 7 languages):

As of now, we are not making any changes to upcoming events or programming, but will have backup plans in place just in case. We are additionally increasing reaching out to our most vulnerable clients to make sure they are okay, especially our older adults.

We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, and clients. Should anything change, we will reach out to you immediately. If you have any personal concerns, please do not hesitate to discuss them with me.


Lino Covarrubias, JFS CEO