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18% of Israel’s haredi children had COVID – first serological test results

CM 10/08/2021 2

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Some 17.7% of haredi students who were screened on Monday to see if they had developed antibodies against coronavirus were found positive, preliminary numbers released by the Health Ministry and the Home Front Command showed.Some 2,196 students were tested in Modi’in Illit, Elad and Kiryat Ye’arim on Monday by three separate testing companies – Terem, Target and Magen David Adom. Of those screened, 390 students were found to have had the virus.The city with the highest percentage of students who tested positive was Elad, with 24.2%. The Health and Education ministries kicked off the serological testing program on Monday when haredi (ultra-Orthodox) schools opened across the country. The idea is to screen youth under the age of 12 to see if they had the virus. Those who test positive will receive a “Green Pass” and be exempt from isolation if someone in their class tests positive for COVID-19 during the school year.

As part of the pilot, students are also being tested in Bnei Brak, Beitar Illit and Bei Shemesh, though those results were not make public. 

The hope is to test the program this month in haredi and then Arab schools and ultimately to launch the “Green Class” outline, as it is called, in mainstream institutions. As per the outline, which was developed by Sheba Medical Center, any student who tests positive for coronavirus will be sent into isolation. The students in the same class will undergo a rapid test each day for seven days. Those students who test positive will, of course, also enter isolation. Students who test negative will be able to keep going to school.However, students who showed they have antibodies, will only require one rapid test. Ultimately, some 1.6 million Israeli students are expected to undergo serological tests.On Monday, new research by Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem showed that somewhere between 10% and 30% of Jerusalem’s children under the age of 18 had already had the virus. However, the research also showed that neutralizing antibodies waned in these younger individuals after around four months.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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