A school in the central city of Hadera was closed by the municipality on Monday after a student tested positive for COVID-19. New cases of coronavirus infection have popped up in educational institutions across the country just days after the government lifted all restrictions on them.
On Sunday, schools in Jerusalem reported new cases of the contagion after the Gymnasia
Rehavia High School in the center of the city confirmed over 140 students and faculty members had tested positive for the virus.
The fresh outbreak in the capital is believed to have begun in a local kindergarten, which was closed when one of the children tested positive. The child's father teaches at the Gymnasia, which became a hot spot of contagion.
In Beer Sheva, 175 students and 13 faculty members of a middle school were told to enter quarantine, fearing contagion from a student who had presented with COVID-19 symptoms, while at a kindergarten in the city 30 children were also sent home for quarantine after a staff member reported contact with a confirmed patient.
In Bat-Yam, near Tel Aviv, 13 children were told to go into quarantine after a staff member at their after-school facility tested positive for COVID-19.
In Modi'in, 13 boys from a Jerusalem youth soccer club were put in quarantine after coming into contact with a boy confirmed to have been infected by coronavirus.
The city was the first to experience school closures at the start of the pandemic and students there report a heightened sense of anxiety.
"Many students complain about the difficulty of wearing a face mask in this heat in classrooms that may not even have air conditioning," says Shaked Yaakov, a member of the local student council.
"With everyone afraid of contamination, we are having a hard time concentrating during this period of final exams."
Students around the country say the social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines are barely enforced.
"We have 35 kids in my class and social distancing is impossible," says Yuval, whose father has underlying health conditions and therefore at greater risk from the virus.
"At first we tried to follow the guidelines but over time students and teachers became more lax. If the teacher were stricter with us it would be easier," she says.
A middle school student in Netanya says she and her fellow students do not even wear their masks over their mouth and nose.
"We just hang it over our ears," she says, adding her teachers do the same.
Following the rise in cases of coronavirus in educational facilities, the Health Ministry posted new guidelines instructing schools, kindergartens and after-school facilities to shut down if four or more cases of the virus are confirmed.