COVID: Unjabbed, untested teachers in Israel can't work starting Oct. 3

Health Ministry Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash said that unvaccinated patients are straining the hospitals.

A PARAMEDIC transports a COVID-19 patient to Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, in April 2020. (photo credit: CARLOS OSORIO/REUTERS)
A PARAMEDIC transports a COVID-19 patient to Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, in April 2020.
(photo credit: CARLOS OSORIO/REUTERS)

Teachers in Israel who are not vaccinated, or have recovered and refuse to get tested, will not be able to work starting from October 3, the Education Ministry announced on Thursday.

In addition to not being allowed on school premises, they also won’t be able to conduct long-distance learning and will not receive pay.

In response, the Teachers Union asked the government to allow teachers to test themselves at home (as opposed to in a testing station), as it is possible for unvaccinated students.

Also on Thursday, it emerged that the coronavirus expert committee, which includes the top Israeli health officials, on Wednesday issued a recommendation to place a general limit to gatherings by capping them at no more than 300 people indoors.

“There is also no logic or reason in holding large gatherings in the culture and sports sectors during a period of uncontrollable infection, when dozens of young patients come to be treated in serious conditions every day,” the committee wrote. “Once the morbidity decreases, it will be possible to reopen such events.”

The experts said that in spite of the slowdown of serious morbidity due to the vaccination drive, it is not possible to just continue on the same path the country is currently on, suggesting that the idea of implementing restrictions based on the number of serious patients – as the government has been doing – as opposed to daily cases, is dangerous and that for the future it would be important to look at the number of daily cases.

They also expressed concern that once the education system fully reopens after the Jewish holidays in October, the country will register another increase in morbidity.

 Health Minister Director-General Nachman Ash attends a press conference about the coronavirus, in Jerusalem on August 29, 2021.  (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) Health Minister Director-General Nachman Ash attends a press conference about the coronavirus, in Jerusalem on August 29, 2021. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

As of Thursday morning, Israel had 723 serious patients, a number similar to that of previous days, with 253 of them considered in critical condition and almost 200 on ventilators.

Most of the patients in serious conditions are not inoculated.

While over six million individuals have received at least one shot and some 3.12 million have already gotten a booster, there are still about 800,000 people eligible for a vaccine who have chosen not to take it.

Some 5,921 new cases were identified on Wednesday, with 5.6% of the 113,000 people screened returning a positive result.

The number of daily cases has varied greatly in the past two weeks because of the effect of the holidays, with the number of tests performed ranging between 55,000 and 185,000. The result was as few as 3,000 to over 10,000 virus carriers identified in a single day.