COVID in Israel: 645 Patients in Serious Condition, 7,761 New Cases

Thousands received the third jab over the weekend as the eligibility age was lowered to 40 and up; so far 1.3 million Israelis received the third dose of the vaccine

Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati
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COVID drive-through testing center in Kfar Saba
COVID drive-through testing center in Kfar SabaCredit: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv
Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati

Israel logged 645 COVID patients in serious condition, with 155 in critical condition according to health ministry data released on Saturday night. 

7,761 new COVID cases were recorded on Friday, according to the data. 

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Over the weekend, tens of thousands of Israelis aged 40 to 49 received their third coronavirus vaccine, with the total number of Israelis who have received their third shot reaching 1.3 million. 

A man receives third COVID vaccineCredit: Emil Salman

On Sunday, new gathering restrictions will go into effect, according to which a maximum of 400 people will be allowed to gather indoors, and 500 outdoors. 

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Saturday that the coronavirus cabinet will announce plans for the upcoming school year on Sunday.

Teenage girl receives COVID vaccine ahead of the start of the school Credit: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv

According to the plan, middle and high school students will be vaccinated and start the school year on September 1 as usual.

Elementary school and kindergarten-aged children will receive home COVID test kits, to be preformed 24 hours prior to the start of the school year. The start date for these institutions will also be announced on Sunday.

Israel's Health Ministry approved administering the third COVID booster shot to Israelis aged 40 and up on Friday, accepting the vaccination committee's recommendation to lower the minimum age for receiving the third vaccine dose from 50, as a renewed COVID outbreak has triggered soaring infection rates.

According to a statement from the ministry, its director general, Nachman Ash, notified the heads of Israel's health maintenance organizations to expand the booster shot campaign to the new age group, as well as to teachers, caretakers for the elderly and pregnant women. The booster shot is administered at least five months after the second dose.

Bennett also said that he issued an order for hundreds more vaccination complexes to be opened and noted that he anticipates that in the future everyone will be eligible to receive the third booster shot.   

On Wednesday, new COVID-19 related restrictions came into effect, with all children over the age of three being required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result before entering indoor spaces, except for malls and stores. 

In addition, stores and malls will be required to limit capacity to one person per seven meters squared. Additionally, a limit will be set on crowd sizes at large events. 

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