As the world reacts to the spread of Coronavirus, ORT’s global network is taking all necessary precautions against the disease.
With dozens of schools across our network, and with our organization reaching 300,000 people in more than 30 countries every year, we are taking the virus very seriously, with the health and safety of our students, educators and professionals around the world our highest priority.
The outbreak has already affected ORT’s work in a number of countries.
As of Friday morning:
Italy: ORT’s Liceo Renzo Levi and affiliated Scuola Della Comunita Ebraica in Milan are closed and will remain shut until March 15. Some teachers are preparing distance learning lessons for students. All Purim celebrations and other communal gatherings have been cancelled. No students have been diagnosed with Covid, but there are some cases among adults within Milan’s Jewish community.
Bulgaria: All schools – including ORT No. 134 “Dimcho Debelianov” Jewish School – are closed from today until next Wednesday, at least. There are no registered Covid cases in the country at the moment.
Spain: Students and staff at ORT Colegio Estrella Toledano in Madrid will not be taking part in large gatherings or major meetings, but school life is continuing as usual, with the addition of new hand-washing protocols in line with health authorities’ advice. Communal Purim celebrations have been cancelled. The Spanish government is not currently planning to close schools.
Israel: All our schools in Israel are running as normal, but remain in close contact with national and local authorities in order to monitor latest developments and to act accordingly.
Czech Republic: Lauder Schools of Prague is open and staff and students are following new hygiene advice. Only two schools are closed in the country, but public interest in Coronavirus is developing at pace.
Former Soviet Union: There are limited restrictions at the current time, but some big gatherings are being cancelled or postponed. ORT’s schools across the region remain open – except in Ukraine, where ORT Ukraine’s Chernivtsi Jewish School, has closed today. More widespread closures in Ukraine may begin next week. There are no diagnosed cases of Coronavirus in our schools in FSU.
France: All schools remain open for now, at the local authorities’ request. ORT France is in daily contact with local authorities to assess the situation. Those at risk have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days or until given the all-clear. All school trips have been cancelled. There have been no reported cases of the virus in our schools so far.
Singapore: Our affiliated school, Sir Manasseh Meyer International School remains open. Staff have been making contingency plans in the case that closure does occur, including looking at the possibilities of remote or virtual teaching and learning.
We will continue to provide updates across our network next week and as the global situation relating to coronavirus continues and develops.