School in Kiryas Joel filled with students, ordered to 'shut down immediately'

Daily Freeman-7 months before

The school, in Kiryas Joel, was served with a cease-and-desist order Thursday by the Orange County Health Department after officials discovered it operating without personal protective equipment and in violation of social-distancing rules, the county said in a prepared statement.

Chris Ericson, a deputy county health commissioner who visited the school, said the classrooms were filled with students and that very few people wore masks.

The school is part of the United Talmudical Academy, the largest of three ultra-Orthodox Jewish school systems that serve about 14,500 childr...n in Kiryas Joel.

Ron Coleman, an attorney for the school system, said the Kiryas Joel building "was not operating as a school” but that administrators were allowing the boys to study on their own in the building.

School officials believed independent study did not count as schooling and that it was allowed under the state’s order, Coleman said.

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