Heat Wave Beats Back School Re-openings

Newly appointed Minister of Education Yoav Galant, Monday. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The Education Ministry’s hopes for a full re-opening of the school system ran into another obstacle on Monday: A heat wave like no other in the country’s history.

Temperatures again climbing over 100 Fahrenheit combined with the requirement of wearing face masks made conditions very difficult for students and teachers alike, and some schools were telling kids to stay home.

Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Herzliya, Rishon Letzion were announcing cancellation of classes due to the conditions.

Officials were appealing to the Health Ministry to lift the face mask rule. The Director General of the Ministry of Education asked the Ministry of Health to suspend the mask directive for the duration of the heat wave, expected to last all week.

The Pediatricians Association was quoted in media reports as saying: “Kids wearing masks for long hours is not practical and borders on extremely difficult. Masks that become soaked with sweat are unsustainable.”

According to the association’s experts, there is no evidence to support claims that face masks prevent coronavirus spread among children.

The Meteorological Service said that temperatures throughout the country on Sunday ranged from 104 to 114 Fahrenheit. In Gilgal, near Yericho, temperatures were forecast for as high as 118.

The country registered a second record-breaking day of electricity usage for a day in May, the second day in a row, according to Channel 13.