The number of coronavirus infections in Israel continued to rise Tuesday evening, with 459 new cases in the past 24 hours and new lockdowns being imposed in two cities.
Another person has also succumbed to COVID-19 in that period, bringing the death toll in Israel since the start of the outbreak to 308.
The rate of infection in the past 24 hours is the highest daily rate since April 22, when 556 new virus cases were diagnosed.
Since the start of the week, 814 new patients have been diagnosed across the country.
The number of patients being treated in hospital has however decreased in the past 24 hours from 200 to 189 people.
The number of seriously ill patients has also dropped by five, and currently stands at 40. Of that number, 27 people are on ventilators - a drop of two since Monday.
Ministers on Tuesday designated the central city of Elad and several neighborhoods in the northern city of Tiberias as "restricted coronavirus zones" due to the steep rise in virus cases in those areas, making them subject to restrictions on gatherings and travel.
The measure goes into effect at 8am Wednesday and will last for seven days.
According to the local media, the areas of Tiberias affected include Ramat Tiberias Bet, Ramat Tiberias Gimmel, Area 200, Tiberias Illit and the Ben-Gurion neighborhood.
Similar measures are also being considered for the central city of Bat Yam, where 117 people tested positive for the pathogen between from June 1 and 21, bringing the total number of active patients in the city to 137.
The contagion rate in the city currently stands at staggering 5%.
Bat Yam Mayor Zvika Brot appealed to the National Security Council, urging them to reinstate emergency measures that would once again ban the city's beaches.
Since the start of the week, 90 new virus patients have also been diagnosed in Jerusalem, 58 in Bnei Brak, 52 in Ashdod and 48 in Tel Aviv.
There are 794 cases related to students and teaching staff, while at least 215 educational institutions across the country have been closed due to outbreaks.
A total of 22,372 teaching staff and students are in preventative quarantine.
On Tuesday, 16 students and two staff members at a girls high school in the central city of Or Yehuda tested positive for the virus.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned earlier Tuesday that more coronavirus hotspots would be declared "restricted areas."
Netanyahu's decision was made following an urgent meeting with Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, Public Security Minister Amir Ohana and the head of the National Security Council, Meir Ben Shabbat, to discuss the latest surge in the number of cases.
Attendees at the meeting also agreed that if the rate of infection continues to rapidly increase, the government would table a proposal sometime this week for digital means to be reintroduced to counter the spread of the pathogen, including electronically tracking carriers.
Edelstein said declaring cities and towns with high contagion rate as "restricted" will not lead to "total lockdown." The health minister made the comments during a ceremony unveiling a new coronavirus ward at Sheba Medial Center in Ramat Gan.
"There are a number of locations that have met the criteria we set of being considered red and will be declaring them today as restricted areas,” he said. “We will not get to a total closure or in military terms, breathable closure."