Harav Yitzchak Zilberstein, Rav of the Ramat Elchanan neighborhood of Bnei Brak, paskened that anyone who is waiting for the results of a coronavirus test should answer the phone on Shabbos with a shinui and answer any necessary questions for an epidemiological investigation.
Rav Zilberstein issued his pesak after a comprehensive discussion with Health Ministry professionals and Health Minister Yaakov Litzman.
Health Ministry representatives visited Rav Zilberstein on Wednesday to discuss the dilemma of shomer Shabbos patients who were tested for the virus and the results on Shabbos show they are positive. A positive result for the test requires the patient to be immediately transferred from their home and an investigation be launched to identify and quarantine anyone who came into contact with the patient.
In his pesak, Rav Zilberstein emphasized that patients must not only answer the phone on Shabbos but must answer all questions asked of them and allow themselves to be transferred from their home according to the instructions of the medical professionals.
The Rav also said that the health professionals are permitted to notify patients of the need to self-quarantine on Shabbos. “It’s permissible to announce through a loudspeaker or other means through a nochri,” Rav Zilberstein wrote.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)