Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz announced last night that as of this morning students and teaching staff will take an antigen test on school grounds if they come in contact with a confirmed patient.
The Education Ministry responded in a scathing attack on the Health Ministry, on behalf of Minister Yifat Shasha Bitton: “The Health Ministry is creating chaos in the education system. We will not allow it to drag the education system into a maelstrom.”
The Education Ministry, while agreeing that the direction is the right one, says that the proper preparations for this to happen in an orderly manner are not in place, and as such, the move will cause even more “confusion and chaos in the education system.”
The Health Ministry responded to the Education Ministry’s attack: “We are all invested in dealing with the wave of illness, and we will not engage in blame games. “Therefore, it was decided that the two ministries will work together immediately to formulate procedures regarding procedures, parental approvals and executive briefings. Only with hard work and sincere and genuine cooperation can we ensure the implementation of the move as early as this week.”
The Education Ministry has informed school principals that coronavirus inspectors are not to be permitted to conduct antigen tests for COVID-19 on school premises.
“The decision [to conduct the tests] was not coordinated with the Education Ministry, and the legal and administrative procedures have not been formulated,” the ministry wrote. “The Health Ministry should have obtained the cooperation of the Education Ministry before publishing its announcement, and until a formal arrangement is made with the Health Ministry, no action should be taken.”