Bennett tests negative for COVID-19, to stay in quarantine

Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton’s daughter is also COVID-positive. Both ministers are in isolation.

 Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the cabinet meeting in the Golan Heights, December 26, 2021.  (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the cabinet meeting in the Golan Heights, December 26, 2021.
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett entered isolation on Sunday after his 14-year-old daughter tested positive for coronavirus. However, a PCR test taken by the prime minister on Sunday was negative.

The prime minister said he will stay in isolation as a precaution.

His daughter was fully vaccinated. 

The prime minister had been screened with an antigen test ahead of the cabinet meeting and tested negative. Nonetheless, upon learning of his daughter’s situation, Bennett left the cabinet meeting.

This is not the first time that Bennett has been in isolation since the start of the Omicron wave in Israel. A person was found COVID-positive on his flight back from the United Arab Emirates earlier this month, putting him and his entourage into isolation. 

MK YIFAT SHASHA-BITON (New Hope) August 2, 2021 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)MK YIFAT SHASHA-BITON (New Hope) August 2, 2021 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

All of the ministers who attended Sunday’s cabinet meeting in the Golan were tested for COVID with a rapid antigen test in the morning as cases in the country continue to rise.

During this testing, one of Bennett’s staffers tested positive for the virus. The employee was transferred to quarantine immediately. She had not been in contact with the prime minister or other ministers, Bennett’s office said. 

Other employees who did come into contact with her were tested. They all received negative results but in an effort to take extra precaution, they did not attend the cabinet meeting.

In addition, Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton’s daughter is COVID-positive. She did not attend the cabinet meeting on Sunday as a result.

The minister's office said that she was in isolation and would also stay there until a negative PCR test result was obtained. 

Cases are especially high among the country’s children. 

On Sunday morning, the Health Ministry reported more than 5,200 kids in the Israeli school system were infected with the virus. In total, 48% of all cases are among people under the age of 18.