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Dear Supporter Ji,

Yesterday, the World Health Organization announced that COVID-19 (the coronavirus you’ve heard about on the news) is officially a pandemic. Given the heightened concerns about the health of our sangat, the Sikh Coalition asked that I share information and recommendations as it relates to the virus so that our gurdwaras can be better prepared to handle concerns.

I serve as an infectious disease specialist in Southern California. Although we now know more about COVID-19 than we did weeks ago, we still do not fully understand the full clinical picture of the disease. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, and it can result in death. We do know that our elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions or suppressed immunity are especially susceptible.

While it is important to recognize the gravity of COVID-19, we must also take care to not succumb to panic. As an infectious disease specialist, I urge you to share factual information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other reputable health agencies with your sangat. It is also critical that you monitor recommendations made by local, state, and national government agencies, because that information is ever-evolving and is specific to your local community.

To that end, here are several recommendations that I urge you and your gurdwaras to employ.

First, remind your sangat to:

Second, good habits for your gurdwara include:

Finally, you can also consider providing these additional services:

Be sure to follow the CDC for daily updates, and read the California Department of Health’s Guidelines for Mass Gatherings. The North American Sikh Medical and Dental Association, Sikh Family Center, and other Sikh organizations have issued English and Punjabi guidance for gurdwaras; special thanks to the Sikh Religious Society in Palatine, Illinois for translating that resource, as well as a CDC poster on COVID-19 prevention. You can see the English version of that poster here; consider hanging one or both versions in your gurdwara today.

We hope that this information will help keep your sangats healthy.

In Chardi Kala, 

Dr. Jasjit K. Singh

The Sikh Coalition is a civil rights organization and not a public health organization. Like you, the Sikh Coalition is concerned about the impact that COVID-19 is having across the country. We are in consultation with health experts, and have compiled these recommendations from them and reputable health agencies. We are sharing this information out of concern for the sangat, but will not be leading out on any public health work. If you need medical advice or information, the best place to seek it remains your primary care physician and the CDC.

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