Photo Credit: Gershon Elinson / Flash 90
The Orot Etzion school in Efrat reopens. May 3, 2020

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Wednesday with Education Minister Yoav Galant and National Security Council chief Meir Ben-Shabbat to discuss how to deal with the spread of the coronavirus in the education system.

“The officials reached a decision to close any educational institution in which a case of coronavirus infection is found,” according to a communique from the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday night.

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“Prime Minister Netanyahu directed Education Minister Galant to work on achieving solutions for protection and distancing for pupils and teaching staff,” according to the PMO.

“Cases that are found will continue to be dealt with. The Prime Minister instructed that the situation be monitored and assessed.”

Israeli children returned to their classrooms in mid-May as the economy began to reopen after nearly two months of nationwide lockdown.

However: three Israelis died of COVID-19 overnight Tuesday, bringing Israel’s death toll from the virus to 290, the largest spike in fatalities since the start of May. This comes along with the 19 new cases of the virus that were confirmed Wednesday (June 3) from educational institutions, raising the total number of cases of COVID-19 in Israeli schools to 244.

A total of 43 schools have been closed temporarily as the government tries to get control of the situation, and some 10,000 Israelis are in quarantine due to having been exposed to the coronavirus.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.