Israel Hits Six-month High With More Than 8,000 New Daily COVID Cases

Serious cases appear to be stable at 559; over a million Israelis have received third COVID shot

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An Israeli family gets tested for coronavirus at a rapid testing center near Elad
An Israeli family gets tested for coronavirus at a rapid testing center near EladCredit: Tomer Appelbaum

Israel has logged 8,646 new coronavirus cases on Monday, according to Health Ministry data published on Tuesday, marking a six-month daily record in new cases. 

The percentage of positive tests also hit a six-month high, with Monday's data showing 6.2 percent of all tests taken returning COVID-positive.

Of the 55,323 active cases in Israel, 559 are in serious condition. The final figures for Monday showed a slight drop since Sunday.

Over 5.8 million Israelis have received their first coronavirus shot; 5.4 million have received both shots. Monday marked one million Israelis receiving their third coronavirus vaccine, two weeks since the government's campaign began.  

The 1,048,767 booster shots administered so far represent more than half of the 1.9 million Israelis currently eligible for a third dose: people aged 50 up who had their second shot of the Pfizer vaccine at least five months ago.

Labor lawmaker Gilad Kariv, who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, was hospitalized in Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer overnight into Tuesday.

Kariv is "feeling well and is under supervision in a coronavirus ward," a statement from his office read. 

Bennett celebrated the landmark as "wonderful news and a huge achievement, but there's still much work ahead of us," urging more people to get vaccinated. 

Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash said Monday that if current infection rates don't go down "there will be no choice but to delay the beginning of the school year."

However, he added that there is an advantage to starting the school year September 1 as it will allow "experimentation with all the methods we want to introduce, such as quick tests, quarantining versus not quarantining, and gaining trust in serological tests."

Also on Monday, new restrictions at Ben-Gurion Airport went into effect. Arrivals from only 10 countries will be exempt from quarantine.

Passengers from Austria, Australia, Hong Kong, Hungary, Taiwan, Moldova, New Zealand, China, Singapore and the Czech Republic will not be required to enter isolation. However, only Austria, Hungary, Moldova and the Czech Republic allow Israelis to enter at the moment.

People who return from these ten countries will be required to isolate for 24 hours, or until they receive a negative COVID test result – the earlier of the two.

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