Ten Vaccinated Israelis Contract COVID as Country Faces Local Outbreaks

COVID czar eyes reopening of testing centers across Israel due to outbreaks

Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati
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A student getting a coronavirus test in Binyamina, earlier this week
A student getting a coronavirus test in Binyamina, earlier this weekCredit: Amir Levy
Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati

Israel is facing several local COVID outbreaks as more schools reported new cases Monday.

In two schools, nine staff members contracted COVID-19 even though they are vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Due to the uptick in coronavirus cases, the town of Binyamina-Givat Ada in central Israel has been declared a "yellow" zone, with a moderate coronavirus infection rate, on the so-called traffic light system developed by the Health Ministry.

This is the first local authority to be defined as such since May, when all cities and zones in Israel were declared green.

On Monday afternoon, after a situation assessment on the new outbreak, Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered the Israel Defense Forces, Home Front Command and defense establishment to prepare to renew its coronavirus testing efforts, and not to close the contact tracing department as originally planned.

Israel's coronavirus czar Nachman Ash ordered the IDF Home Front Command on Monday to prepare to reopen testing centers across the country.

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz announced on Monday Israel will issue large fines for Israelis who travel to barred countries. The new regulations are due to come into effect in the coming days.

While "the situation in Israel is different from the rest of the world," Horowitz said, "[We] have to do whatever is necessary to contain the spread of strains."

There are 358 active coronavirus cases in Israel; 24 patients are in serious condition, according to Health Ministry data released Monday. The number of fatalities in Israel is 6,427. Nearly 5.5 million Israelis have received their first coronavirus vaccination, and 5.1 million have received their second dose.

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