Report Backs Chareidi MKs Stance Against Closing Shuls

YERUSHALAYIM -
A man seen with a face mask after Shacharis in Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Most of the coronavirus spread has occurred in homes through contact with a sick family member, rather than in public forums, reports the Corona National Information and Knowledge Center. The new findings are timely, as the government continues to add restrictions on public gatherings and perhaps another general shutdown.

In particular, the role of shuls in spreading the coronavirus is significantly downscaled by the new research. The research accounts for 8,981 out of the over 30,000 Israelis who have contracted the virus.

According to the corona center’s research, 65.8% of people who tested positive for coronavirus were exposed at home. Another 10.3% were exposed at schools of all sectors, meaning universities, yeshivos and the entire gamut of elementary schools. Only 5.8% were exposed to the virus at medical facilities, such as clinics or hospitals.

Still smaller was the figure for infections at events or conferences – 3.9% – and an even smaller figure – 2.2% – were exposed at shuls. In all, the number of Israelis who were infected in shul stands at 198 individuals out of the 8,981 cases studied. The remaining cases came from shopping centers and other situations.

If these percentages accurately reflect the spread of the coronavirus, it solidly justifies the position that chareidi MKs have taken, that it is wrong to single out shuls as a hotbed for infection.

The Corona Cabinet on Monday accepted a proposal by Interior Minister Rabbi Aryeh Deri to keep shuls open, but with a maximum of 19 mispallelim.

Chairwoman of the Knesset’s Corona Committee, MK Yifat Shasha-Biton, requested the data, which was reported by Yisrael Hayom.