The Health Ministry is calling on all preschool teachers and aides to be screened for coronavirus.
In a message disseminated Friday morning, the ministry said, “We call on all teachers and assistants to come and get tested for coronavirus.”
The Home Front Command will be running the testing centers across the country throughout the weekend. A full list can be found on the Health Ministry’s website.
Teachers who wanted to be tested do not need a referral from their doctor. They do need to bring their national identity card and a recent pay slip.
On Thursday night, the coronavirus cabinet voted to open preschools on Sunday as part of the first phase of the country’s exit strategy. The Health and Education ministries are expected to roll out an outline for keeping students and teachers safe before then.
The testing of teachers was considered essential, since most infection in preschools comes from the adults who work in them and not the students.
On Thursday evening, teachers said that they feel unprepared to open their classrooms, with some even saying that they won’t manage to meet expectations by Sunday, and might have to delay the students’ return until later next week.
“The system is not prepared to open preschools on Sunday – period,” Israeli Teachers Union head Yaffa Ben-David said in an interview with Channel 12. “The preschool teachers don’t even know what the outline is… no one spoke to us, no one included us.”
She said the teachers were not told what protective measures would be needed to ensure that infection does not spread, or whether staff that lives in red cities will be allowed to come to work in green cites.
“If we open like this,” she said, “to my dismay, we will meet again during the third lockdown.”