Cadets at Base 80 finally allowed to quarantine at home

Despite official change in military policy, it took over a day and a half before cadets could leave the base.

IDF cadets at Base 80 will be allowed to quarantine at home (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
IDF cadets at Base 80 will be allowed to quarantine at home
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Parents of cadets at Base 80, which suffered a large coronavirus outbreak, were finally able to take their children to quarantine at home, a day and a half after the military changed their policy on home quarantine.
Pressure from parents of the cadets as well as several outbreaks at other military bases across the country led the IDF to change their policy on Wednesday when the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit announced that the option to quarantine at home would be given to troops after being approved by a unit commander with the rank of lieutenant colonel and following a check that the soldier would be able to safely home quarantine.
In addition to home quarantining, troops were also given the option by the military to quarantine on base within their unit, “provided that there are suitable conditions” as well as in quarantine facilities belonging to the Personnel Division.
But by Thursday afternoon no cadet from Base 80 was allowed to leave and quarantine at home, away from others. Over 102 cadets at the base were diagnosed with the virus and dozens more were in quarantine after a fellow cadet returned to the base sick following a furlough at her parent’s home for the Rosh Hashanah holiday.
Concerned parents, who made a WhatsApp group to share information regarding the outbreak earlier, gathered at the entrance to the base Thursday in an attempt to once again put more pressure on the military to allow their children to quarantine at home.
“Yesterday the IDF in so many words acknowledged that their policy until now has been a failure, but the outrageous reality is that 36 hours later nothing has changed in Camp 80,” said one concerned father who was on his way to demonstrate at the entrance of the base. “We are not receiving any answers.”
The father, whose daughter has had coronavirus symptoms for over two weeks was refused a test by the medical corps until a few days ago. Though she tested negative, “during that time she was in constant contact with others,” including those who later tested positive for the virus.
Though a senior officer involved with the situation at the base claims that all cadets who are displaying symptoms have been placed in separate rooms and use separate bathrooms and showers from those who are quarantining or are healthy, parents of cadets at the base who spoke to The Jerusalem Post claim otherwise.
Those who are feeling unwell, not only those with coronavirus symptoms, are placed in a separate building that has joint restrooms, showers, and a mess hall where cadets can gather and cross-contaminate each other.
“There’s no quarantine, in practice they all meet,” the father said. “The military’s strategy didn’t work, it only caused more infections because if you are putting them all together it makes it sure that those who are infected will infect others, especially if they are in a non-ventilated room.”
Several hours later, cadets were finally given notice that they would be able to leave the base and return to their parents’ home where they would need to self-quarantine for two weeks.
A move, parents said, that took longer than it should have.