More Israeli Schools Closed After Coronavirus Infections

YERUSHALAYIM -
Cleaning workers disinfect the entrance to the Gymnasia Rechavia high school in Yerushalayim on Wednesday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Several more schools were closed in Israel Wednesday morning after students were diagnosed with coronavirus, as the government was considering a nationwide closure of middle and high schools amid rising infection rates, mainly in the school system.

In Tel Aviv, the Yarden and Hagalil elementary schools, each with over 300 students, were ordered closed. In Be’er Sheva, another school was closed – the third school in the city this week – after a student was diagnosed with the coronavirus.

In Bat Yam, two high schools were closed after a student was diagnosed with the coronavirus, the third within 24 hours.

Hundreds of students at a Modi’in Ilit school were sent into quarantine, after a staff member tested positive with the coronavirus.

A girl’s high school in Ashkelon was also closed after a student came down with the coronavirus. Some 700 students and staff will enter isolation for at least a week.

In total, over 30 schools have been closed across the country with over 10,000 students and staff forced into home quarantine.

A growing number of parents have also been avoiding sending their kids to school as a result of the rise of infections in the school system.

The Health Ministry said that the rising number of infections among students is the primary factor in Israel’s recent spike in cases, since the end of last week.

According to the statistics released by the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday morning, a total of 17,343 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, up 58 from Tuesday night. The number of active cases continued to grow and stood at over 2,000.

With no new fatalities overnight, the death toll remains at 290.

After holding a situational assessment Tuesday night, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office said he would make a decision on closing schools in the coming days. “The prime minister requested additional data and asked to evaluate how it would be possible to strengthen the protection of pupils against infection.”

The discussion will continue on Wednesday, the Prime Minister’s Office said, and according to the data that will be presented to the ministers, the prime minister will make a decision regarding the education system.