The number of active COVID-19 cases in Israel has dropped below 10,000 for the first time in over three months, according to figures released Friday by the Health Ministry.
As the Delta outbreak continues to wane, active cases stand at 9,354 as of Friday morning, after passing 90,000 in early September. The data also showed 651 new cases were confirmed on Thursday, down from between 5,000 and 6,000 daily almost two months ago. On Thursday, active cases stood at 9,551.
Serious cases were down to 227 as of Friday morning, including 133 on ventilators and 153 in critical condition. The death toll was up by six since Thursday morning for a total of 8,081.
Israel’s COVID-19 positivity rate has also steadily declined in recent weeks, reaching a low in recent days not seen since the beginning of July, according to Health Ministry statistics.
Just 651 people tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, out of close to 77,000 tests, marking a positivity rate of 0.92 percent, up slightly from Wednesday’s 0.81%. At the peak of Israel’s fourth wave in early September, the positivity rate surpassed 8%.
Overall, all indicators point to the ending of Israel’s fourth COVID wave, which began in July and at its height saw more than 10,000 new cases reported each day.
Under Israel’s traffic light program, just one town is currently listed as red: the Beit El community. Eleven towns are ranked as orange, and the rest of the country is either yellow or green.
Starting Monday, Nov. 1, Israel will be opening up its borders allowing in vaccinated tourists who have received a second or third dose, or recovered in the past six months. Despite the restrictions, experts say that reopening Ben-Gurion will pose a risk of new variants and a spike in cases.