Israeli Students Return to School Amid Soaring COVID Infection Rate

A girl raises her hand in class on the first day of school at College des Freres in the Old City of Jerusalem, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, amid an uptick in coronavirus infections. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

A girl raises her hand in class on the first day of school at College des Freres in the Old City of Jerusalem, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, amid an uptick in coronavirus infections. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

09-01-2021 CBN News Jerusalem Emily Jones

JERUSALEM, Israel – Nearly 2.5 million Israeli children kicked off the school year on Wednesday despite Israel having one of the world’s highest infection rates due to the delta variant.

Before they stepped foot in the classroom, students under 12-years-old and unvaccinated children over 12 were given at-home COVID tests to ensure they don’t bring the virus to school.

“Together with the Education and Health ministries, we held the largest testing campaign in the history of the State of Israel. In one day, two million tests were carried out for all pupils in Israel so that we might reach this moment of the opening of the school year,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Wednesday.

The government also voted to extend the country’s so-called Green Pass entry limits to education and healthcare systems. That means teachers and doctors will be barred entry to their workplaces unless they provide proof of vaccination, recovery from COVID-19 or a negative COVID test from the last 72 hours.

In “red” cities where COVID cases are high, students 8-12 will be able to attend class only if more than 70% of the class is vaccinated. If that number is less than 70%, students will learn online.

***Please sign up for CBN Newsletters and download the CBN News app to ensure you keep receiving the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***

“We will continue to make super-efforts so that all Israeli pupils can learn,” said Bennett. “We cannot guarantee the result, but we can guarantee 100% effort.”

Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash said the goal is to keep Israel’s schools and economy open.

“I think we are making an educated decision in accordance with government policy. We want to keep the economy open and the education system open,” he told Israel’s Channel 12 news.

He expects to see a rise in cases with the reopening of schools, “but I hope we will see a reversal of the trend in the next week or so.”

Israel expanded its booster shot program on Sunday to include anyone over the age of 12. More than 20% of the country’s 9 million people have received a third dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.

Israel was one of the first countries to initiate a mass vaccination campaign, but the highly contagious delta variant as spreading, even among the vaccinated. Health officials hope the booster shot will bring down COVID infections.

On Tuesday, Israel’s Health Ministry reported nearly 11,000 cases, a daily record.

Did you know?

God is everywhere—even in the news. That’s why we view every news story through the lens of faith. We are committed to delivering quality independent Christian journalism you can trust. But it takes a lot of hard work, time, and money to do what we do. Help us continue to be a voice for truth in the media by supporting CBN News for as little as $1.Support CBN News

Steve Martin

STEVE & LAURIE MARTIN - LOVE FOR HIS PEOPLE FOUNDERS My good wife Laurie and I (43 years in October 2020!), through the ministry of Love For His People we founded in 2010, give love and support for our friends in Israel and in other nations with friendship, humanitarian aid, and social media support, along with Steve's NOW THINK ON THIS messages, and our Ahava Adventures annual trips to Israel. Steve has also authored and published 31 books. We live in the Charlotte, NC area, along with four adult children, spouses, and eight grandkids.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *