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33% of haredi kids from Modi’in Illit had COVID – serological test results

CM 10/08/2021

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Some 33% of 344 students in Modi’in Illit who were tested by 7:45 p.m. on Tuesday for having antibodies to coronavirus, tested positive, according to preliminary results obtained by The Jerusalem Post’s sister paper Maariv.
The results were released a day after the country kicked off its serological testing program in ultra-Orthodox schools, which also opened on Monday. 
Some 17.7% of haredi students who were screened on Monday were found positive for antibodies, according to numbers released by the Health Ministry and the Home Front Command.
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%. Out of 513 youth who were tested on Tuesday, 91 were identified as positive – 17.7%, Maariv shared.
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 1.6 million youth under the age of 12 to see if they have 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.
The program is meant to expand this week into other haredi cities, including Bnei Brak and Beitar Illit. Beit Shemesh announced that it had started screenings on Tuesday.
Last year, entire classes went into isolation when one of their classmates was found sick. Some 90% of these students who went into quarantine were not infected.
Around 70% of students in grades 10-11 and around 50% in grades 7-9 are either vaccinated or recovered and therefore would not have to enter isolation anyway. The serological tests are meant to help more elementary school students in grades 1-6 continue learning without interruption this year.
The serological testing program is costing the country NIS 60 million.
The 18% of students who had COVID-19 discovered on the first day of serological testing is in-line with new research published Monday by Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem that showed between 10% and 30% of Jerusalem’s children under the age of 18 had already had the virus.
However, the hospital’s research also showed that neutralizing antibodies waned in these younger individuals after around four months. 

Source: Jerusalem Post

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