We hope you are all keeping well.
We understand that this is a difficult time for our community, especially during these blessed months. Our community thrives because of our daily programs, gatherings, commemorations and celebrations of auspicious occasions. However, we pray through the intercession of the personalities whom we remember in these months, that this crisis of COVID-19 passes quickly and that our community events can resume as soon as possible.
The COVID-19 Crisis Task Force has been communicating on a daily basis, monitoring updates from Public Health Ontario and other credible sources. With the health climate changing daily, the Task Force has also scheduled a weekly teleconference on Monday evenings, and will update the community as new information becomes available.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have received questions and have addressed them below and will continue to address queries that we get in our upcoming communiques.
1. How much longer do we anticipate closure of our centres?
We do not know. For now, the centre will remain closed, unless there is some evidence that this virus has peaked and less and less cases are being reported locally, and in Ontario.
2. Are we expecting it to get worse in Ontario? Are the risks high?
The number of new cases is decreasing in countries that have implemented social distancing/appropriate quarantine and that have good public health support for identifying contacts and testing. The risk in Ontario continues to remain low as long as we follow public health guidelines on personal hygiene, strict self quarantine if deemed necessary, and avoiding large gatherings.
3. How is COVID-19 contracted?
There are two identified modes of transmission of the COVID-19. The first is airborne (cough/sneeze), and the second is contact (through shared touch on any surface).
In a recent study analyzing several thousand cases, experts found that the majority of the cases of COVID-19 are from contact transmission. Droplets land on a surface and can last there up to 24 hours. Anyone who touches the surface and then their eyes/nose can contract the virus.
4. Why can we not come as individuals for prayer at the centres? Why is the 24-hour mosque closed?
There are many areas within the centre and 24-hour mosque that have exposure to contact transmission and it is impossible to deeply clean/sanitize each and every area after each person. Therefore, we cannot risk opening the centres.
5. What can I do?
From a health and medical perspective, it is extremely important to wash your hands often and keep them clean. If you are feeling under the weather, please stay at home. If you have flu-like symptoms please take necessary precautions and visit your doctor or hospital emergency department. Avoid gatherings and direct contact (shaking hands/embracing) with others.
From a community perspective, reach out to your friends and family, especially our seniors by phone or email. Check-in with each other and provide the moral support that we all need to get through these times.
We urge you all to pray for the well-being and safety of our members and attendees. Our Secretariat Office can still be contacted via phone at 905.695.9786 and email at email@example.com.
With Salāms & Du’ās
ISIJ Secretariat Office
Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaat of Toronto