Some 65 Chabad hassidim who were in quarantine at the Dan Jerusalem Hotel were told on Sunday they are infected with the novel coronavirus.
They were part of a group of 114 Chabad hassidim, mostly yeshiva students, who arrived from the US last week.
All of those infected will be transferred to Shmuel Harofeh Geriatric Hospital in Be’er Ya’acov. Forty-one of them will remain in the hotel, which will host special cases but not those who are infected.
Eight of the hassidim are still being tested for the coronavirus.
The Health Ministry is trying to locate the 200 people aboard the flight who were exposed to the virus and place them in quarantine.
The Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, where the students were learning, was the site of a large coronavirus outbreak.
They told Israeli media outlets they had been asked before their flight to sign an affidavit that they were not experiencing signs of illness and to the best of their knowledge had not come into contact with someone sick with coronavirus.
Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters in Crown Heights closed last week for the first time ever.
The exact number of cases of coronavirus in Crown Heights has not been reported. According to The New York Times, more than 100 people have tested positive in two other heavily ultra-Orthodox New York City neighborhoods, Borough Park and Williamsburg.
Last week, the defense establishment turned Tel Aviv’s Dan Panorama and Jerusalem’s Dan hotels into quarantine facilities.
Preparations have been made by Home Front Command, Magen David Adom and the police to fully isolate the facilities. A specially constructed sterile area has been set up at the entrances to the hotels, and both hotel security and the police will guard the sites to make sure no sick individuals leave.
Two more coronavirus hotels will open soon in Haifa and in the South, OC Home Front Command Maj.-Gen. Tamir Yadai said. With at least 500 rooms, each hotel can hold 500 to 1,000 patients. All medical care will be provided by the Health Ministry. (JTA)
Anna Ahronheim and Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman contributed to this report.