Coronavirus: Only 2.1% test positive as schools prepare to resume

There were 780 people diagnosed with the virus on Monday out of 36,605 people screened • one-on-one activities, alternative medicine to resume Sunday • Hadassah closes two corona wards

Haredi children return to school amid the coronavirus crisis (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Haredi children return to school amid the coronavirus crisis
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The number of new daily cases continues to decline, hitting the lowest percentage of positive test results since June on Tuesday.
There were 780 people diagnosed with coronavirus on Monday, the Health Ministry reported Tuesday - just 2.1% of the 36,605 people screened.
Of the sick, only 467 are in serious condition - also the lowest number in months. The death toll stands at 2,452.
The news of the decline comes against the backdrop of several decisions made Monday night by the coronavirus cabinet, including allowing first through fourth graders to return to school on Sunday. They will learn in small groups and wear masks.
The cabinet agreed to allow after-school programs to operate with students from up to three classes.
In addition, it approved the re-opening of salons and other one-on-one activities and services (driving lessons or personal training, for example), as well as alternative medicine treatments.
The cabinet is supposed to reconvene on Thursday to finalize a decision about opening up street shops next week. Health Minister Yuli Edelstein has warned that “we’re playing with fire” by opening too much at once. However, the prime minister and alternate prime minister have spoken out in favor of opening the shops.
Speaking on Israel Radio Tuesday morning, Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch said that the government is making decisions differently this time than after the first wave and that they are supposed to be made based on data and not dates, let alone politics or populism.
“The Health Ministry has made it clear that opening trade alongside the education system… could have a heavy price in morbidity,” he said.
A report by the Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center published Tuesday warned that there may be a slowdown in the trend in the next few days when almost two weeks will have passed since preschools resumed operation.
A Health Ministry report from October 26 showed that there were 107 preschools closed due to coronavirus out of 20,000, with around 20 students and 14 staff who are sick with the virus. Around 1,070 students and staff are in isolation.
Hadassah University-Medical Center said Tuesday that in light of the significant decrease in new patients, it decided to close down two of its wards. Today, 50 patients are hospitalized there - 37 in critical condition. At the start of the month, there were some 150 patients.