Israel’s COVID R Rate Back Up at 1

Magen David worker take a COVID-19 rapid antigen test from Israelis at a drive-in COVID-19 rapid antigen test complex in Glilot. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Israel’s COVID-19 reproduction rate has hit one, meaning that the virus is no longer in decline, according to data released Friday morning by the Health Ministry.

The reproduction rate or “R” represents the number of people a sick person will infect. When the R is at 0.8 or below, health experts understand that morbidity is waning.

The R has been on the incline since this time last month. It held at 0.73 on Oct. 20, reached 0.88 on Nov. 4, before rising to one.

Coronavirus cases in Israel had been going down over the past few months since Israel launched its third shot campaign.

However, this week numbers started to creep up once again.

Whereas last week the average number of new daily cases was 443, this past week the average was 490.

Health experts have said that it is too early to consider any shifts as a fifth wave and that the fourth wave never really ended. The hope is that vaccinating children five to 11, which was approved early this week by the Health Ministry, will help keep infection levels in check.

The children’s vaccines have not yet arrived in the country, but are expected in the coming days.

On Friday morning, the Health Ministry reported 467 new cases of the virus. Some 126 patients were hospitalized in serious condition, including 87 who were intubated.

Israel’s death toll stood at 8,154.