Israeli COVID Cabinet Approves Full Opening of Schools on September 1

Schools in Israel will open on a routine basis on September 1, the coronavirus cabinet voted on Sunday shortly after midnight.

The decision came after an hour-long meeting attended by parents, teachers and education administrators.

With the great holy days starting at sunset on September 6 and falling on weekdays this year, meaning there are few full days of learning before October 1, many ministers have been pushing to delay the return of the children in classrooms – at least in kindergartens and lower schools. grades, where they are not eligible for a vaccine.

According to the plan, students over the age of 12 will be able to be vaccinated on school grounds during school hours, subject to parental approval. Students under the age of 12 will be asked to present a negative coronavirus test result on opening day.

Parents receive rapid antigen test kits free of charge and are encouraged to swab their children within 48 hours of September 1.

“Check the boy or girl and complete a note confirming they are negative for the coronavirus,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said at the opening of the meeting.

In the Red Cities, students in Grades 8 to 12 will be forced to study online unless at least 70% of students are vaccinated or cured.

So far, 41% of students aged 12 to 15 have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 79% of students aged 16 to 19.

Additionally, the Green Pass scheme will apply to educational staff, which means all teachers, aides and other workers must be vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 to enter the facilities.

People lining up at an MDA station to receive their coronavirus vaccines in Tel Aviv, August 14, 2021 (Credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI / MAARIV)

Bennett said the next two weeks are going to be very tricky to see where the country is going.

“I can now state it from here: we can beat this wave,” he said. “If the public continues to be vaccinated en masse, if we continue to wear masks properly, if we continue to behave responsibly, we will celebrate the holidays as a family, freely. “

Last Thursday evening, Israel opened up eligibility for a recall to anyone over 40.

As of Sunday, more than 10% of Israelis between the ages of 40 and 49 had already received a booster shot against the coronavirus.

Some 1.43 million people received a third injection, about three weeks after Israel launched the vaccination campaign for those over 60 who were fully immunized at least five months earlier.

Bennett said eligibility would likely be open to all ages soon and in the meantime asked those who haven’t received a reminder to be careful.

Authorities believe that thanks to the effect of the vaccination campaign, Israel will be able to curb the spike in cases and severe morbidity and avoid lockdown in September.

In cabinet, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz also reportedly recommended a general cap on gatherings to 500 people outside and 400 people inside.

As of Sunday, there were some 669 patients in serious condition, with the increase in cases appearing to be slowing down. As of Sunday, there were 535 patients in serious condition. Two weeks earlier, there were 362.

Also on Sunday, public hospitals said that due to a lack of state budget, from Monday they would no longer accept new coronavirus patients and on Wednesday they would switch to Shabbat mode.

So-called public hospitals are independent organizations that rely mainly on donations, as opposed to establishments directly owned and funded by government or health funds. They include Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem, Laniado Medical Center in Netanya, Maayanei Hayeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak and three hospitals in Nazareth, serving some two million people, or about 20% of the population. population.

In January, hospitals began a protracted protest over a financial crisis, with organizers denouncing that their facilities had received only about half of the funds per bed received by public hospitals.

The crisis ended when the government agreed to increase their budgets.

However, hospitals are now accusing authorities of breaking their promises.

“I’m ashamed to stand here like a beggar,” Shaare Zedek CEO Prof Ofer Marin said at an emergency press conference. “The State of Israel is violating the agreement with public hospitals. None of the clauses of the agreement were fulfilled. Our suppliers have collapsed. Our employees cannot receive vacation pay. Our patients may not receive optimal care.

Hadassah CEO Professor Yoram Weiss said: “The time has come for hospitals in Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bnei Brak and Netanya to receive the appropriate budgets. In this way, our patients will be able to receive the appropriate care, as do the inhabitants of Tel Aviv. “

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