Board confirms no Covid deaths registered for past week - the first time since March 23

Board President Marie van der Zyl urges caution, however


There have been no new reports of Jewish funerals linked to covid-19 over the past week for the first time since March 23, the Board of Deputies has confirmed.

Working with the Jewish community’s burial boards, regional Jewish communities and the Jewish Small Communities Network as of the week ending August 7, there have been 508 Jewish funerals carried out where the deceased had contracted covid-19.

 This represents no increase on the previous week.

While urging caution, Board President Marie van der Zyl said: "The first week of receiving no reports of covid-19 funerals in the community since March is a welcome milestone for the community.

"The figure comes with the important caveat that smaller communities do not report to the Board of Deputies on a weekly basis, and so there may have been covid-19 funerals held in the wider community. Any such reports will come in in the weeks ahead. However, the trend is clear, for now.

"This should strengthen our resolve to continue to take handwashing seriously and follow social distancing guidance strictly. Our community has suffered disproportionately from the pandemic, and we must not slip back. Our thoughts continue to be with those families who have lost loved ones, and those who thankfully survived but must now live with the long-term effects of this terrible disease."

The Board of Deputies is liaising with seven of the largest denominational burial boards to collate an indicator of deaths where covid-19 was a factor. These denominational burial boards are: The Adath Yisroel Burial Society, the Federation of Synagogues Burial Society, the Joint Jewish Burial Board, Liberal Judaism, the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi Community, the United Synagogue Burial Society and the Western Charitable Foundation.

The indicator enumerates how many funerals were carried out by these burial societies and communities where covid-19  appeared on the death certificate of the deceased.

As such it covers both deaths in hospitals and in the wider community.

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