Responding to the coronavirus pandemic, The Louisville Vaad HaKashruth has issued a set of guidelines for use of the Louisville Mikvah:
- Anyone exhibiting any symptoms of illness, or is under mandatory quarantine, may not use the mikvah for any purpose (including tevillas keilim – the ritual immersion of cooking and food utensils).
- Symptoms that preclude use of the mikvah are sore throat, fever (including low-grade) or persistent dry cough.
- No men may use the mikvah at this time except for tevillas keilim.
- Every person who enters the mikvah should wash their hands with soap and water immediately.
- The Vaad will use higher levels of chlorine in the mikvah for the duration of the crisis.
- In addition, the Vaad will have the bathtub, toilet, countertops, floors and commons areas cleaned and wiped down with bleach and/or disinfectant every day after usage the evening before, which may leave a strong odor.
- To make this happen, the Vaad is requiring women who want to use the mikvah at night to give at least three to five days advance notice. Failure to do so may mean the mikvah is not available for use at night because a cleaning could not be scheduled.
- The Vaad intends that no room be reused without disinfecting between clients. This will require the participation of both users and the mikvah attendant.
- The Vaad asks all women who use the mikvah to complete all preparations at home and to bring their own robes, towels and combs. The Vaad will not supply these items or other preparation supplies during the crisis. Failure to properly prepare at home may result in a delay in using the mikvah.
- Tevilas keilim will still be available during daytime, and only by advance appointment made at least three days beforehand by contacting Rabbi Simcha Snaid, administrator of the Vaad.
The Vaad consulted “halachic and medical authorities” before releasing the guidelines. Questions or concerns about them should be directed to Snaid at 912-704-2769.