COVID-19 Comeback: Israeli Schools Closed, Thousands Quarantine

June 4, 2020
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A coronavirus testing site in Jerusalem

Thursday, 4 June 2020 | Almost 10,000 students and teachers have been quarantined and 31 schools closed in Israel as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise, the Health Ministry said Tuesday.

Fifty new cases were reported in less than 24 hours and more patients have tested positive in the past week than in the three previous weeks.

Also Tuesday, two more people succumbed to the virus—bringing to 287 the number of fatalities in the country from the disease.

The Education Ministry said that 3,723 students and teachers were told to quarantine on Tuesday alone, bringing the total number of quarantined students and teachers to 9,935.

On Monday, newly appointed Education Minister Yoav Galant announced he would be instructing any school that has seen a staff member or student confirmed with coronavirus to immediately close and send all faculty and students into quarantine.

A survey conducted by the Health Ministry in tandem with Tel Aviv University found that at least 200,000 Israelis have been exposed to the virus, close to ten times the number of confirmed cases.

This is, however, just 2–3% of the total population, meaning Israel is far from achieving herd immunity to the highly infectious disease.

The survey examined 1,700 blood tests of people from different age groups across the country, looking for IGG antibodies that indicate an immune response to the virus.

The government said it intends to conduct serological testing in areas that were hardest hit by the pandemic.

The tests were to begin with students at the Gymnasia Rehavia High School in Jerusalem, where more than 140 students and teachers have already contracted the virus.

A military report circulated among health authorities Tuesday called on schools to use remote studying to reduce student attendance and the risk of coronavirus infections. 

The report calls for mass testing of all students, faculty and their families at schools where cases of infection were found.

Posted on June 4, 2020

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on June 2, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Michio Nagata/bridgesforpeace.com