Sixty-five members of the ultra-Orthodox Chabad movement who returned from New York last week were diagnosed Monday with the novel coronavirus.
The group returned from a year of studies in New York's Crown Heights neighborhood, where thousands of cases of the virus have been confirmed.
"Last week, 114 people suspected of carrying the coronavirus were housed in Jerusalem's Dan Hotel after returning from the U.S.," said Israeli officials. "After a medical examination, 65 of them were diagnosed with the virus."
"In coordination with the Health Ministry, we have decided that they will at this stage be transported to Shmuel Harofeh Hospital [in Jerusalem]," they said.
There were 49 other passengers on board the plane and eight are still waiting for their test results. The passengers were not informed they were traveling with suspected coronavirus carriers until after the flight.
Upon their arrival in Israel, the passengers were transferred on isolated buses to Dan Hotel in Jerusalem, which has been requisitioned by the Defense Ministry to isolate and treat patients with mild cases of the illness.
The group were at the hotel for an entire day before they were tested for the virus by Health Ministry officials.
Transferring the passengers from Ben Gurion Airport to Jerusalem was a complex logistical operation as El Al, the Israeli flag-carrier on whose plane the group returned home, was not prepared to transport passengers suspected of coronavirus infection.