Netanyahu reopening, COVID-19 danger for Israeli schools


This video says about itself:

Emotions high as schools reopen, 2 teachers positive for virus

It’s back to school this week for most Israeli children after two months of homeschooling in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Then, it was only two infected sick teachers. But now …

Translated from Dutch NOS radio, 5 June 2020:

Israel closes 90 schools again for fear of new corona outbreak

The Israeli government has closed over 90 schools this week following an increase in coronavirus infections. The primary and secondary schools were open again last month, after about two months of closure.

According to the Ministry of Health, the reopening of schools is the main cause of the number of new infections increasing again. Yesterday, Israel had 118 new confirmed infections. That is the highest number in more than a month and much more than a few weeks ago.

Children can spread it”

This is largely due to contact at schools, says department head Asher Salmon at the ministry: “Without a doubt. Children may be less susceptible to the virus, but they can actually spread it. And as long as there are infections, contact leads to new infections. That’s how it works in an epidemic. ”

The option to close all schools is still on the table, Salmon says, “The next few days will be crucial.” For the time being, only schools will be closed where a student or staff member has tested positive for coronavirus. Until now, this has happened at 92 educational institutions.

A gymnasium in Jerusalem was the hardest hit. There, more than 150 students and teachers became infected with the virus.

Teacher: I can understand them

Marion Golany works as an English teacher at a primary school a little further in the city. No infections have yet been detected at her school, so classes will continue for the time being. “Yet many parents keep their children at home,” says Golany. “The day before yesterday there were only three children in class, in a class of seventeen. And I can understand them.”

In March, Israel decided to largely shut down public life to stem the spread of the virus. The schools also closed. When the number of new cases fell, the government decided to open schools step by step last month. Not all volumes at the same time, and a maximum of fifteen students per class. In mid-May, those restrictions were released and all students were allowed back to school.

Maximum half classes

But that decision was premature, says epidemiology professor and former senior official Gabi Barbash: “We should have held on to half classes of up to 15 students. Children not only infect each other, but also their relatives at home. As a result, we see the number of active infections grow again now.”

The full classes make a big difference, says teacher Golany: “Everything seems normal again, and it is difficult to keep a distance. You can no longer prevent them from hugging and jumping on each other. After all, they are children in a primary school.” …

Since the outbreak began, Israel has a total of more than 17,000 confirmed covid-19 infections. At least 290 patients were killed by the virus.

26 thoughts on “Netanyahu reopening, COVID-19 danger for Israeli schools

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