Coronavirus in the School System: 10,000 Students, Teachers in Quarantine

A picture shows the entrance to the Gymnasia Rechavia high school in Yerushalayim on Sunday. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The Education Ministry reported that about 10,000 students and teachers have been sent to quarantine in recent days due to concerns about being infected with the coronavirus.

So far, 217 patients have tested positive for the coronavirus and 31 schools have been closed.

A student at the Gottwirth Comprehensive School in Sderot was confirmed as infected with the coronavirus on Tuesday.

The student has been in quarantine since the end of last week, as he came into a contact with a family member who tested positive with the coronavirus. Four other students at the school have symptoms of coronavirus, so the entire school, including all 110 teachers and staff and all 870 students will enter quarantine until next Wednesday, June 10.

Almost 2,000 students at a Be’er Sheva high school where a girl was diagnosed with the coronavirus were sent into quarantine.

All students at the Makif Vav school will stay in isolation until the Health Ministry concludes an epidemiological investigation and issues further instructions.

In Maale Adumim, a teacher at AMIT Wasserman high school for girls was confirmed to have the coronavirus, prompting the municipality to order the school closed and send all pupils and staff to quarantine and to undergo a coronavirus test.

In the Hakfar Hayarok youth village near Tel Aviv, all 11th-graders stayed home from school Tuesday after a student displayed coronavirus symptoms. His test results were not yet available, but as a precuation the students stayed home.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel rose with 50 new cases identified since Monday evening and 113 in the previous 24 hours. The tally stood at 17,219, of whom 14,950 have recovered. The number of active coronavirus cases, which fell to below 2,000 last week, continued to grow and stood at 2,017.

Thirty-one patients are in serious condition, with 30 of them on ventilators.

After several weeks of no more than 50 daily infections, Friday saw a significant jump of 115 new coronavirus infections over 24 hours, the first time that the 100 mark was breached since May 2. Shabbos saw another jump, in what health officials attributed to public complacency and failure to heed social distancing rules.

The renewed outbreak, which began last week, is focused in educational institutions, particularly the Gymnasia Rechavia high school in Yerushalayim, where over 130 students and staff members have been diagnosed.

A growing number of parents have been avoiding sending their kids to school as a result of the wave of infections.

Education Minister Yoav Gallant said Monday that any institute where a coronavirus case is confirmed will be closed immediately. Continuing partial studies will be considered where there are separate buildings in the same premises.