Preschoolers through children in grade three, who are expected to return to school sometime next week, will not be schooled in capsules, a senior official in the Health Ministry said on Wednesday. Speaking at the State Audit Committee meeting, which is headed by MK Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid), Efrat Aflalo said that whereas the students will learn in their regular classrooms, teachers will no longer float between groups and they will wear masks all day.
Aflalo also stressed that children in fifth grade and above will only return to school when the morbidity rate in Israel is at 250 new cases per day, a senior health official said Wednesday at the Knesset.
"There are no disagreements between the ministry's senior officials," she said. "Everyone agrees that only if we reach a morbidity level as determined in the strategy in advance will children return to their classrooms."
Ministers at a coronavirus cabinet meeting Tuesday night agreed to reconvene on Thursday to vote on whether children ages newborn to six can return to school next week. The Health Ministry has said that the infection rate needs to be around 2,000 new cases per day with a reproduction rate (R) of less than one. On Wednesday, the ministry reported 2,225 new coronavirus cases - 5.4% of those tested.
Of those currently infected, 808 are in serious condition and 240 are on ventilators. The death toll stands at 2,055.
“First through fourth graders will return when there are 1,000 cases per day,” Aflalo said. “Fifth graders will return only if we reach 250 cases per day.”