After Reopening Schools, Israel Orders Them To Shut If COVID-19 Cases Are Discovered

After Reopening Schools, Israel Orders Them To Shut If COVID-19 Cases Are Discovered

After Reopening Schools, Israel Orders Them To Shut If COVID-19 Cases Are Discovered Two weeks after Israel fully reopened schools, a COVID-19 outbreak sweeping through classrooms — including at least 130 cases at a single school — has led officials to close dozens of schools where students and staff were infected. A new policy orders any school where a virus case emerges to close. The government decision, announced Wednesday evening, comes after more than 200 cases have been confirmed among students and staff at various schools. At least 244 students and school employees have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the education ministry. At least 42 kindergartens and schools have been shuttered indefinitely. More than 6,800 students and teachers are in home quarantine by government order. It's an abrupt reversal of the post-pandemic spirit in Israel, as officials lifted most remaining coronavirus restrictions last week. With fewer than 300 deaths in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had declared victory in early May over the pandemic, and last week told Israelis to go to restaurants and "enjoy yourselves." But by the weekend, the spike in cases led him to consider reimposing restrictions, including closing all schools. The education minister, Yoav Gallant, argued that the overall number of virus cases in Israeli schools remains low and closing them all would not be justified. Schools first began to reopen in early May, with classes staggered in smaller groups or "capsules" of students to prevent a wide outbreak. By May 17, limitations on class size were lifted. The ...
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