Virus Cases Found in Three More Schools in Israel as Cabinet Decide Against Closure

YERUSHALAYIM -
Magen David Adom medical team members, wearing protective gear, are handling a coronavirus test sample at a drive-through site for coronavirus testing samples collection, in Tel Aviv. (Flash90)

Three more Israeli schools have found coronavirus cases among their students on Motzoei Shabbos, sending many pupils into quarantine, and threatening the continuation of the lifting of the restrictions.

According to Channel 12, schools in Yerushalayim, Holon and Kiryat Yearim (Telshe Stone) had all isolated classes after students were found to be carriers.

One seventh-grade student tested positive at Katzir High School in Holon, sending four classes and six teachers into isolation; another single case was diagnosed at the Hartman High School in Yerushalayim, also sending dozens into quarantine; and eight cases were found at a yeshivah in Kiryat Yearim, sending students into quarantine.

In Kiryat Yearim, one-third of the students tested for coronavirus were found to be positive. Not all the students have been tested, raising suspicion that the scale of the outbreak there hasn’t been fully discovered.

Despite a sharp increase in recent days in coronavirus infection rates focused on education institutions, government ministers have decided against a sweeping closure of schools during an overnight meeting.

Israel had 1,917 active cases as of Motzoei Shabbos.

The surge in new coronavirus cases was largely centered on the Gymnasia Rechavia school in Yerushalayim, where one student infected some 80 people. All the students and staff are in the process of being tested.

The school and at least 16 others were expected to be shut temporarily as the Cabinet convened to discuss potential closures to stem the spread. The ministers decided against a suspension of the education system as a whole, opting to close schools only where infections have been recorded.

Health officials are concerned that fewer people are getting tested. While at the height of the pandemic around 10,000 tests were being conducted every day, those numbers have dropped considerably in recent weeks as fewer people experience symptoms.