Red Shift as Infections Rise

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli Health Ministry Director General, Professor Hezi Levy. (Flash90)

A change in criteria in the designation of cities as red or orange resulted in a shift to 24 red and 32 orange cities on Wednesday, from 16 and 27 respectively on Tuesday, The Jerusalem Post reported.

A zone’s color is determined by multiple factors, including the number and rate of increase of patients per 10,000 in each locality, the overall rate of infection and how many people test positive out of those who are screened for the virus.

Red indicates the highest infection rate, followed by orange, green and yellow in descending order. There are currently 52 yellow zones and 1,153 green zones.

Health Ministry director-general Chezy Levy dismissed the terminology of coronavirus third wave and conjecture over whether it’s begun yet or not.

“It doesn’t really matter if we call it the beginning of the third wave. The main thing is that we are on a slippery slope,” Levy told Ynet.

Hoping to avoid a lockdown during Chanukah, some officials have discussed the possibility of a night curfew instead. But Levy said that a night curfew alone “will do nothing,” since there are already not supposed to be any events or activities.

Meanwhile, schools are re-emerging as a locus of infection. The Health Ministry is considering closing or reducing activities in the lower grades in orange and red cities.

“We are in dialogue with the heads of the authorities in these cities who are aware of this and are doing their best to prevent it and reduce morbidity in the authorities they are in charge of,” Levy said.

The ministry is expected to present the coronavirus cabinet with a plan to stem the spread by the end of the week.