PEOPLE living in Orthodox Jewish communities in Greater Manchester are being urged to be vigilant and take quick action if needed following a COVID-19 outbreak in North London.

Public health officials report there have been COVID-19 cases in Orthodox households in Hackney and Haringey in the last two weeks, and several households have been affected.

Given the close ties between communities, anyone in Greater Manchester who has visited or received a visit from members of the North London Orthodox community is asked to stay vigilant for symptoms of COVID-19, and get a test at the earliest opportunity.

Currently people from different households in Greater Manchester are not allowed to meet indoors or in a private garden. Members of the Orthodox and wider Jewish community are also asked to continue to observe these and other social distancing rules.

Lesley Jones, Director of Public Health for Bury Council, said: “Our colleagues in London are currently working with the local Orthodox community and religious leaders, with a particular focus on minimising risk of transmission between households.

“While we don’t have any reported outbreaks in Greater Manchester’s Orthodox communities at present, we know this could change quickly. We want to warn people here of the possibility that COVID-19 could have spread, and might still, unless people take extreme care.

“I would urge anyone experiencing even mild symptoms of COVID-19 to get tested immediately. It is vital that we all do what we can to protect ourselves and others.”

With most parts of Greater Manchester currently seeing a rise in coronavirus infections, all communities are being asked to work with local public health teams to help stop the spread.

Lesley Jones added: “We are asking people in the Jewish community to let us know if they see one or more cases in any particular place. We consider two or more linked cases as an outbreak, and we need to break transmission urgently and as early as possible.

“Our public health teams can be contacted for further advice.”

Dr Jeff Schryer, Chair of NHS Bury CCG and GP at Whittaker Lane Surgery in Prestwich, said: “COVID-19 is a devastating illness that spreads easily and quickly from person-to-person. It has a disproportionate effect on older people, and multi-generational households are recognised as at particular risk.

“What has happened in North London is a reminder of how easily and quickly coronavirus can spread. We all need to follow the guidance around social-distancing and hand-washing to keep ourselves and others safe.

“We hope that the Jewish community will continue to stick to latest guidance and play an important role in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our area.”

Details of testing options can be found at via, including an option for a home testing kit or accessing tests at local sites in Bury, Salford and Manchester.