1,360 New Coronavirus Cases in Israel

YERUSHALAYIM -
Magen David Adom medical workers test Israelis at a drive-through site to collect samples for coronavirus testing in Lod, Friday. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

The Health Ministry reported Motzoei Shabbos that 1,360 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed since Friday.

Currently, Israel has 18,296 active cases of coronavirus.

134 patients are listed in serious condition, with 49 patients  on ventilators.

354 Israelis have died of coronavirus.

A number of lockdowns came into effect on Friday in neighborhoods in five “hot-spot” towns and cities hit hard by the coronavirus.

As of Friday, parts of Yerushalayim, Beit Shemesh, Lod, Ramle and Kiryat Malachi are “restricted zones,” with the restrictions set to be lifted at 8 a.m. on Friday.

The last few weeks have seen the reversal of many of the gains made in the fight against the coronavirus in recent months.

Also on Friday, the Health Ministry announced significant changes to its quarantine and contact tracing policies, which are expected to greatly reduce the number of people required to self-isolate at any given time.

Since the start of the pandemic, health officials carried out contact tracing for confirmed carriers for the 14 days prior to their testing positive. Anyone who was exposed to the carrier within that time frame was ordered into quarantine.

Going forward, the ministry will divide patients into different categories, and therefore the number of people they find who were exposed to the coronavirus carrier. Anyone sent into quarantine will still be required to do so for a 14-day period.

For patients with a clear onset of symptoms, contact tracing will be carried out for the four days prior to symptoms appearing, and only contacts within that window will be ordered into quarantine. Tracing for patients with no clear start to symptoms will go 10 days back since a positive diagnosis. Tracing for asymptomatic patients will go back seven days since their positive test result.