Nearly 8,000 New COVID Cases in Israel; 578 in Serious Condition

Ampules of the COVID-19 vaccine, at Shaare Zedek Hospital on Tuesday. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The Health Ministry on Wednesday reported that 7,832 Israelis tested positive for coronavirus out of some 143,000 tests carried out over the previous 24 hours, putting the country’s infection rate at 5.6%.

Out of 59,278 active coronavirus patients nationwide, 578 were hospitalized in serious condition and 104 of them were connected to ventilators.

Israel’s death toll stood at 6,708 fatalities since the start of the pandemic, with 230 of them succumbing to the virus in August alone.

According to the ministry’s data, 36% of new cases were reported among Israelis under the age of 18, 29% between the ages of 19–39, 22% between the ages of 40-59 and 13% among those aged 60 and over.

With just two weeks until the opening of the school year, 21,746 students were reported to be carrying the virus and about 69,000 students were in quarantine. So far, 556,632 youths aged 12–18 have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Israel on Wednesday re-introduced restrictions on gatherings and re-imposed social distancing measures in businesses as daily COVID-19 infections kept creeping up precipitously.

The new measures include the expansion of the Green Pass mandate, which requires people to present proof of vaccination or recovery at the entrance to public facilities, to include all Israelis from the age of three.

Entry would be allowed only to those who can show proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19 or a negative coronavirus test.

Babies and toddlers aged 0–3 will be exempt from taking a COVID test. Children between the ages of 3–12, who are not eligible for a coronavirus vaccine, will have to take a virus test that will be paid for by the state.