US fights swine flu

By Jonathan Kalmus, July 9, 2009

Contingency plans for Orthodox communities to deal with a swine flu pandemic will be released by the United Synagogue on Monday.

An advice document with guidance for synagogues, communal groups and schools will be sent out to communities and published on the US website. It also covers contingency arrangements for burials if deaths increase. Plans are in place to maintain essential community services if large numbers of staff fall ill.

US health and safety manager Andrew Brayam said a steering group had been developing contingency arrangements for a number of years. “We could have put a plan in the public domain a while ago, but we were concerned that if it went out too early, it could cause a panic.”

Jewish leaders in Manchester attended a meeting for faith communities with Health Protection Agency and local authority officials at the city’s town hall on Monday.
Mark Cunningham, who heads the city’s cross-organisational Jewish Emergency Team alongside the CST, believes they are well prepared.

“We are thinking about volunteers to distribute Tamiflu and also need local rabbis to play a part in getting messages out.”

Last updated: 4:08pm, July 9 2009