Safety Guidelines for In-person Dating During COVID-19 (May 15, 2020)
For individuals who prefer not to date via telephone or Zoom, the recommendations offered here are for in-person dating and have been compiled by concerned community individuals to optimize the safety of shidduch dating during COVID-19. This protocol was developed based on current medical guidelines and municipal, provincial and federal laws. All parties should acknowledge that the top priority is everyone’s safety. This document aims to balance the need for society to function with a semblance of normalcy while minimizing the risk of contagion. Every personal interaction creates some risk, as even the best system is susceptible to breakdown. Rigorously following these guidelines greatly deceases the risk but does not necessarily eliminate it.
Participants should familiarize themselves with and agree to the following:
1) All current medical guidelines should be followed at all times. As always, wearing masks is recommended. Participants are reminded to limit touched surfaces and not to touch the face with unwashed hands.
2) Municipal, provincial and federal regulations should be followed at all times. These can be accessed online.
3) The following individuals should under no circumstances participate in in-person dating:
- Anyone who has travelled outside of Ontario in the last 14 days;
- Anyone who has TESTED POSITIVE for COVID-19 in the last 14 days;
- Anyone who in the last 14 days had ANY of the following symptoms: fever (>37.8C), chills, shortness of breath, new or worsening cough, sore throat or hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, loss or smell/taste, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, conjunctivitis, runny nose/sneezing/nasal congestion or unexplained feeling unwell. This includes anyone taking acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or other pain relieving or antipyretic medication to suppress any of the above symptoms;
- Anyone who in the last 14 days has been in close contact with someone who has been confirmed by testing to have COVID-19 or who has been in close contact with someone who has had symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 and has not been completely self-isolating;
- Anyone who in the last 14 days has been in close contact with someone who has travelled outside of Canada;
- Anyone with a chronic medical condition or who is immune compromised should consult a physician for further advice and strongly consider remote dating;
- Anyone with a household contact who is elderly, has a chronic medical condition, or is immune compromised should consult a physician for further advice and strongly consider remote dating.
4) In-person date arrangements:
- All dates should take place outdoors. Unfortunately, dates may have to be cancelled in case of inclement weather.
- Each person should arrange to arrive to and leave from the date in their own car.
- Each person may bring their own refreshments.
- Social distancing of at least 2 metres (6 feet) should be maintained at all times, including when entering and leaving the premises.
- Participants should try to seat themselves in such a way that wind or breeze is not passing from one to the other.
- The host should be informed when the date is over.
- Please note that in the first few days of infection people can spread the virus in the absence of symptoms. If one who has had an in-person date develops symptoms within 48 hours of the date, they should inform the Shadchan immediately. This does not mean that they have contracted the virus from the date but it gives the Shadchan an opportunity to inform the other participant to watch for symptoms and take the necessary precautions.
With warm wishes for much mazel,
Eli Bienenstock, MD
Esther Libman, MD