With the recent revelation of the COVID-19 virus having insinuated itself inside the people who frequent 770, precautions have been tightened to limit the spread of the virus.
Mandatory mask use for everyone in 770, along with limiting the amount of people in the Rebbe’s room were instated to mitigate the damage, and hopefully keep the doors of 770 open.
“As you might very well be aware, Doctors have recently given out a notice that people should avoid davening in 770, due to the high risk there at the moment,” Rabbi Braun of the Crown Heights Beis Din said. “The Rabbonim fully support this statement of the doctors bnogeia being cautious of those risks.”
Rabbi Braun also mentions that there were multiple option on the table, including closing 770 again.
With mask use mandatory throughout the building, Merkos also instituted a limit to the amount of people allowed in the Rebbe’s room, beseeching people to please follow the posted guidelines.
The most recent outbreak stems from a group of kvutza bochurim who traveled to learn in 770 for the year. An organization was created to help integrate the bochurim, quarantining them in Connecticut prior to them coming to Crown Heights.
Due to the staggered method of the bochurim’s arrival in the country, not all the bochurim quarantined for the full amount of time advised by the Gedaliah Society. In an effort to be thorough, the organization tested each of the bochurim prior to leaving quarantine, but according to a person familiar with the matter, they did not wait for the test results. Days later, the results came back, and some of them were positive.