All Israel

COVID TRACKER: Daily cases down to 5,616, but percentage of positive tests rises

Updated Jan. 18, 2021 at 1:19 p.m. Israel time

Hospital staff transport a new patient at the coronavirus ward of the Ziv Medical Center in the northern Israeli city of Tzfat on Jan. 7, 2020. (Photo: David Cohen/Flash90)

Updated Jan. 18, 2021 at 1:19 p.m. IL

The number of new daily infections dropped but only because the number of tests performed were unusually low - about 62,000. The test positivity rate continued to climb to 9.1%. If the same number of tests had been performed yesterday as Friday there likely would have been around 8,500 new cases reported.

The number of patients in serious condition rose to 1,130.

Updated Jan. 16, 2021 at 8:17 p.m. IL

8,013 new infections were reported yesterday. The Ministry of Health also reported that about 93,000 coronavirus tests were performed with 8.6% returning positive, reflecting a continued rise.

Currently 1,082 Israelis remain in serious condition.

Updated Jan. 14, 2021 at 3:03 p.m. IL

Daily cases continue to remain high, staying above the 9,000 mark for the third straight day.

9,408 coronavirus cases were confirmed yesterday, and the test positivity rate continues to rise, standing at 7.9%.

1,123 patients currently are in serious condition.

Updated Jan. 13, 2021 at 2:45 p.m. IL

For the second straight day Israel saw more than 9,000 daily infections confirmed.

The Ministry of Health reported 9,025 confirmed cases yesterday out of the almost 125,000 tests conducted.

Since the beginning of the week 99 Israelis have died - 26 in the last day alone - bringing the total since the beginning of the pandemic to 3,770.

Updated Jan. 12, 2021 at 3:36 p.m. IL

Just two days after Israel hit a new record of patients in serious condition, new confirmed cases also hit a record since the beginning of the pandemic - 9,613 - despite the country's tightened lockdown.

Almost 129,000 tests were conducted yesterday with 7.6% returning positive.

The number of patients in serious conditions stands at 1,071.

Another 30 Israelis died in the last 24 hours from the virus, bringing the total to 3,723.

Updated Jan. 10, 2021 at 9:02 a.m. IL

About 91,000 people were tested for coronavirus yesterday - a drop from previous days - with 7.4% of the tests returning positive, equaling 6,706 confirmed infections.

Yesterday the number of patients in serious condition passed 1000, a record since the beginning of the pandemic, and currently stands at 1,044.

Updated Jan. 9, 2021 at 8:25 p.m. IL

Since the tightened lockdown began on midnight between Thursday and Friday the Ministry of Health has reported 10,808 new infections, 51 deaths.

The death toll currently stands at 3,633.

The number of patients in serious condition jumped to 964 - a record high since the beginning of the pandemic.

Updated Jan. 8, 2021 at 2:55 p.m. IL

At midnight Israel entered into a tightening of the 3rd national lockdown to cut the infection rate.

The Ministry of Health reported a small decrease in the daily numbers - 7,597 new infections. More than 122,000 tests were performed yesterday with 6.2% returning positive - identical to Wednesday and lower than the average for the week.

The number of patients in serious condition remained at 873.

Another 21 Israelis died yesterday from the virus, bring the total since the beginning of the pandemic to 3,565.

Updated Jan. 7, 2021 at 11:23 a.m. IL

About 127, 000 tests were performed yesterday with a 6.2% returning positive, the lowest percentage in the last five days - resulting in another 7,820 new cases.

The number of serious cases rose to 873.

Updated Jan. 6, 2021 at 10:27 a.m. IL

The day after the cabinet decided on further restrictions, the Ministry of Health reported 8,164 new infections - the second straight day over 8,000.

A record of almost 120,000 tests were performed with 6.8% returning positive.

Currently 1,445 Israelis are hospitalized, 824 of whom are in serious condition.

139 deaths have been recorded in less than a week, bringing the total since the beginning of the pandemic to 3,495.

Updated Jan. 5, 2021 at 12:41 p.m. IL

As the cabinet plans to discuss further restrictions, the Ministry of Health reports concerning increase in new cases - 8,311 yesterday.

About 111,000 tests were performed with a high positivity rate of 7.4%.

764 patients hospitalized are in serious condition.

In the last four days 98 Israelis have died from the virus, bringing the total since the beginning of the pandemic to 3,445.

Updated Jan. 3, 2021 at 2:07 p.m. IL

New cases are typically lower over Shabbat due to lower test numbers, but yesterday saw an unusually high number of 3,977. Combined with 6,004 new cases on Friday means that Israel almost saw 10,000 new infections over the weekend.

The number of patients in serious condition has risen to 769, having doubled in about three weeks.

The death toll since the beginning of the pandemic stands at 3,404.

Updated Jan. 1, 2021 at 11:52 a.m. IL

The Ministry of Health reported 5,804 new cases yesterday, the fourth straight day over 5,500.

The number of tests crossed the 100,000 mark - at 102,860 - with a test positivity rate of 5.7%.

18 more Israelis died from the virus, bringing the total since the beginning of the pandemic to 3,338.

In 2020, the pandemic has killed 1.8 million people worldwide and infected 82 million

Updated Dec. 30, 2020 at 11:47 a.m. IL

Another 5,583 new cases were confirmed yesterday, marking the highest number since the beginning of October.

About 97,000 tests were performed. The test positivity rate has risen to 5.7% nationally. Some areas have recorded much higher rates, like Beitar Illit with 20% testing returning positive.

The number of patients in serious condition rose to 609.

Updated Dec. 29, 2020 at 10:19 a.m. IL

The Ministry of Health reported 5,449 new infections yesterday, marking the highest number since the beginning of October as the numbers were decreasing because of the second lockdown.

About 98,000 coronavirus tests were conducted yesterday, 5.6% returned positive.

The number of patients in critical condition rose slightly to 593.

Since the beginning of the pandemic 3,256 Israelis have died from the virus - 18 yesterday.

Updated Dec. 28, 2020 at 9:47 a.m. IL

The test positivity rate continues to climb higher. Out of the almost 71,500 tests performed yesterday 4.9% returned positive, equaling 3,498 new cases.

1,056 Israelis are currently hospitalized, 590 of whom are in serious condition.

Updated Dec. 27, 2020 at 10:38 a.m. IL

Another 2,630 confirmed cases were recorded over Shabbat, a relatively low number because of lower testing - about 63,000 tests as opposed to 100,000 from the previous days. This brings the total number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic to 399,642.

1,054 Israelis are currently hospitalized, 584 of whom are in serious condition.

Updated Dec. 26, 2020 at 8:21 p.m. IL

More than 120,000 coronavirus tested were performed over the course of the weekend, 3.7% returned positive, resulting in 5,433 confirmed cases.

There are currently about 35,000 active cases in Israel.

The number of patients in serious condition rose to 561. 

Updated Dec. 25, 2020 at 9:03 a.m. IL 

The Ministry of Health reported 3,958 new infections yesterday. 98,409 tests were conducted, representing a large increase in capacity, with 4.1% returning positive.

In the last 7 days more than 525,000 have been conducted, with a test positivity rate of 4.05%. The average daily case load during this period is 3,037.

Currently 926 Israelis are hospitalized, 506 of whom are in serious condition.

The death toll since the beginning of the pandemic stands at 3,171.

Updated Dec. 24, 2020 at 1:31 p.m. IL 

There have been almost 5,000 cases in the last two days. As the case numbers and infection rate have continued to rise the Coronavirus Cabinet declared yesterday that a third lockdown will begin at 5pm on Sunday night.

Currently the number of active cases have risen to 29,997. The total number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic stands at 385,022.

497 patients are hospitalized in serious condition.

Updated Dec. 22, 2020 at 10:56 a.m. IL 

The government set to make a decision about a new lockdown as new cases jumped over 3,500 yesterday.

86,857 tests were conducted yesterday with still a relatively high test positivity rate of 4.2%, equally 3,594 new infections.

472 patients remain in serious condition.

Yesterday the vaccine campaign began with the vaccination of healthcare workers and those over 60.

Updated Dec. 21, 2020 at 12:11 p.m. IL 

Yesterday another 2,821 infections were confirmed. Out the almost 70,000 tests conducted, a relatively high number, 4.1%, returned positive.

As the cases continue to rise the government is considering returning certain restrictions, including the Ministry of Health's decision yesterday to designate all countries "red," for the purpose of travel, effectively requiring all returning Israelis to enter into a quarantine period.

Updated Dec. 19, 2020 at 9:02 p.m. IL 

2,815 new infections were recorded yesterday, Friday, and another 1,064 so far on Shabbat.

Yesterday 75,000 tests were conducted yesterday and about 40,000 today with test positivity rates of 3.7% and 2.7%, respectively.

Currently 732 Israelis are hospitalized due to the coronavirus, 445 of whom are in serious condition.

Since yesterday 17 more patients have died bringing the death toll since the beginning of the pandemic to 3,070.

Updated Dec. 17, 2020 at 11:45 a.m. IL 

With more than 80,000 coronavirus tests conducted yesterday and a 3.5% test positivity rate, confirmed cases passes 2,800 again - 2,802 to be precise.

The number of patients in Israel in serious condition has risen to 400.

Updated Dec. 16, 2020 at 2:33 p.m. IL 

Yesterday the number of new cases passed the upper limit, 2,500 daily cases, that the government set for imposing new restrictions. Renewal of restrictions being debated for cities designated as "orange" or "red" are closing stores that receive customers and a return to Zoom for students about 6th grade.

More than 81,000 tests were conducted yesterday with 3.3% returning positive, equaling 2,862 cases.

Updated Dec. 15, 2020 at 11:02 a.m. IL 

For the first time since Oct. 14 Israel recorded more than 2,000 daily cases.

The Ministry of Health reported 72,000 coronavirus tests conducted yesterday with 3.2% returning positive, equaling 2,279 cases.

Last week the government set a limit of 2,500 cases before reinstitution of restrictions.

Updated Dec. 14, 2020 at 2:13 p.m. IL 

Since the beginning of the pandemic 3,003 Israelis have died from the coronavirus.

As concerns grow of a coming third wave, the Ministry of Health reported another 1,707 cases yesterday.

Almost 50,000 tests were conducted yesterday, 3.4% returning positive.

There are currently 17,373 active cases in Israel. The largest number by city is Jerusalem, with 2,950.

Updated Dec. 11, 2020 at 1:51 p.m. IL 

The Israeli cabinet failed yesterday to pass a night curfew or other Hanukkah restrictions as another 1,865 cases were confirmed yesterday.

The last few days have seen cases consistently over 1,800. Yesterday almost 71,000 coronavirus tests were conducted with a test positivity rate of 2.7%.

578 Israelis remain hospitalized, 320 of which are in serious condition.

Updated Dec. 10, 2020 at 11:03 a.m. IL 

The Ministry of Health reported 1,828 confirmed infections as the upward trend continues. Since the beginning of the week 7,056 cases have been recorded.

71,610 tests with a test positivity rate of 2.6%.

Since the beginning of the pandemic 315,004 cases have been confirmed. 15,716 Israelis are current ill with the virus.

Updated Dec. 8, 2020 at 1:45 p.m. IL 

Following the coronavirus cabinet's decision to impose a nightly curfew for three week, the Ministry of Health reported today that 1,837 new cases were confirmed yesterday, almost a 50% increase from the previous day.

About 66,000 tests were conducted with 2.8% returning positive.

562 Israelis are currently hospitalized because of the virus, 315 of which are in serious condition.

The death toll has risen to 2,924.

Updated Dec. 7, 2020 at 3:11 p.m. IL 

For the second straight day the test positivity rate is over 3%. Out of the about 37,000 tests conducted yesterday 3.3% returned positive. The number of confirmed cases - 1,230.

Updated Dec. 5, 2020 at 8:19 p.m. IL 

According the the Ministry of Health 61,537 coronavirus tests were performed yesterday and 2.5% came back positive, meaning 1,506 new infections.

The number of patients in serious condition rose again to 314, passing the 300 mark for the first time in over two weeks.

Updated Dec. 4, 2020 at 1:29 p.m. IL 

1,434 new cases were recorded yesterday, marking the 8th day out of the last 9 with new cases over 1,000.

The test positivity rate remained stable at 2.3% for the about 64,000 tests conducted.

The number of patients in serious condition jumped to 287. 537 Israelis are currently hospitalized.

Updated Dec. 3, 2020 at 11:21 a.m. IL 

1,523 confirmed cases reported for yesterday, the highest number since Oct. 14.

The number of coronavirus tests conducted yesterday increased to 69,000 with a test positivity rate of 2.2%.

The number of patients in serious conditions remains stable at 267.

Updated Dec. 2, 2020 at 12:12 p.m. IL 

The Ministry of Health reported 1,182 new infections, bringing the total number of active cases to 11,072. This marks the highest number of active cases in over a month.

62,734 tests were conducted yesterday with 1.9% returning positive.

534 Israelis are currently hospitalized with 266 in serious condition.

Updated Dec. 1, 2020 at 12:35 p.m. IL 

About 56,000 tests were conducted yesterday with 1,227 returning positive, a test positivity rate of 2.2%.

The number of patients in serious condition dropped to 264.

The death toll rose to 2,865.

Updated Nov. 29, 2020 at 3:17 p.m. IL 

The Ministry of Health reported last night that there were 1,027 confirmed cases on Friday, marking the third straight day over 1,000.

On Saturday only 17,000 tests were conducted, typically low for a weekend, with a test positivity rate of 3.3%, meaning 569 confirmed cases.

Currently there are 9,924 active cases in Israel.

273 patients remain in serious condition.

Updated Nov. 27, 2020 at 12:45 p.m. IL 

1,072 new infections were confirmed yesterday, marking the second day in a row with more than 1,000 daily cases.

Over 53,000 coronavirus tests were conducted with a 2% test positivity rate.

The number of hospitalizations dropped slightly to 504, as well as the number of patients in serious condition, currently at 275.

Updated Nov. 26, 2020 at 9:32 a.m. IL 

The number of coronavirus tests conducted yesterday rose to more than 60,000. A test positivity rate of 1.8%, a relatively stable rate, means that there were 1,069 confirmed infections. The represents the first day since Oct. 21 that the daily number of new cases crosses the 1,000 mark.

Currently there are 9,422 active cases, with 510 hospitalizations. The number of patients in serious condition dropped to 282.

As of yesterday the death toll stands at 2,826.

Updated Nov. 25, 2020 at 11:49 a.m. IL 

The Ministry of Health reported 832 new cases yesterday (Tuesday) despite in increase in testing, up to almost 58,000 tests. The testing positivity rate also dropped to 1.4%.

The number of hospitalizations due to the coronavirus stand at 457, with 268 of those patients in serious condition.

Updated Nov. 24, 2020 at 11:38 a.m. IL 

Yesterday saw the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, 943, since the end of October. The high number, however, is a function of increased testing. The Ministry of Health reported that about 52,000 tests were conducted, almost 20,000 more than the previous day. The test positivity rate though lowered to 1.8%.

480 Israelis remained hospitalized because of the virus, with 275 in serious condition.

Updated Nov. 23, 2020 at 10:07 a.m. IL 

After several days of a stable test positivity rate, the Ministry of Health reports today that out of about 33,000 test conducted yesterday 2.3% came back positive - meaning 745 new cases.

Number of patients hospitalized, however, dropped to 512, with 298 of them in serious condition.

The death toll rose to 2,806.

Updated Nov. 21, 2020 at 6:05 p.m. IL 

The Ministry of Health reported 763 new cases yesterday, Friday. Over 43,000 coronavirus tests were conducted with a 1.8% test positivity rate.

Out of 552 hospitalized patients, 313 are in serious condition.

Since the beginning of the pandemic 2,754 Israelis have died from the virus as of yesterday.

Updated Nov. 19, 2020 at 11:17 a.m. IL 

At the beginning of the week non-essential stores in shopping centers were opened up but with limitations of up to 4 customers at a time. This caused massive crowding and long lines. After the coronavirus cabinet approved increasing the number of customers, the Knesset's legislative committee confirmed the approval. Current regulations set the number of customers based on size of the store with a maximum of 10 people.

780 people were diagnosed yesterday out of 45,362 tests performed, with a 1.7% test positivity rate.

540 coronavirus patients are currently hospitalized, 304 of which are in serious condition, which consists of a drop after several days of rising patient numbers.

Updated Nov. 17, 2020 at 10:24 a.m. IL 

After several days of low testing numbers the Ministry of Health reported that yesterday 49,077 coronavirus tests were performed.

1.8% of those tests came back positive, meaning 861 new infections.

The total number of confirmed cases in Israel since the beginning of the pandemic stands at 325,035. Out of those, 8,030 patients are currently sick.

The number of patients in serious conditions began this week to rise, as of yesterday 326.

The death toll currently stands at 2,735.

Updated Nov. 16, 2020 at 11:35 a.m. IL 

The Ministry of Health reported 613 new infections.

Also reported was that 23,553 tests were conducted yesterday, double from the weekend but still much lower than the 40,000 daily tests recently conducted. The test positivity rate rose to 2.7%.

The number of patients in serious condition jumped to 294, reversing the downward trend from the past few weeks.

Updated Nov. 15, 2020 at 10:10 a.m. IL 

As happens every weekend the number of coronavirus tests drops dramatically. The Ministry of Health reports today that only about 12,600 tests were done on Saturday, with a test positivity rate of 2.3%, meaning 286 confirmed cases.

The number of patients in serious condition continues to drop, currently at 288.

Updated Nov. 13, 2020 at 2:16 p.m. IL 

The slow increase in daily cases continues as the Ministry of Health reported 815 new infections from yesterday, the highest number in 10 days.

Out of about 40,000 tests conducted, 2.1% returned positive.

Regarding a different trend, the number of patients in serious condition dropped below 300 for the first time since July, now standing at 293.

The death toll rose to 2,706 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Updated Nov. 12, 2020 at 11:23 a.m. IL 

As the government weighs delaying implementation of further easing of restrictions, the Ministry of Health reports 734 confirmed cases yesterday, the highest number in the last few days.

The test positivity rate, however, remains stable at 1.9%. About 40,000 tests were conducted yesterday.

Number of coronavirus patients in serious condition continues to drop, currently at 312, out of 564 patients hospitalized.

Updated Nov. 10, 2020 at 9:50 a.m. IL 

The Ministry of Health reported 711 confirmed cases from yesterday, as numbers began to rise. Over 34,000 tests were conducted, with a 2.1% test positivity rate.

The coronavirus cabinet is expected to delay the implementation of stage 3 of the lockdown exit over concerns of a rising infection rate.

The number of coronavirus patients in serious condition remains at 322.

The death toll has risen to 2,678 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Updated Nov. 9, 2020 at 10:33 a.m. IL 

After low testing over Saturday the Ministry of Health reports that about 21,000 tests were conducted yesterday with a test positivity of 2.4%., meaning 522 new infections.

Some health officials have expressed concern that the basic reproductive rate has been increasing because of the opening of more stores. The next few weeks are crucial to determine if the infection rates can be kept under control.

The number of hospitalized patients continues to slowly decrease, currently standing at 549, 322 of which are in serious condition.

Updated Nov. 8, 2020 at 12:14 p.m. IL 

Only 8,045 tests were conducted over Saturday, a typically low number for the weekend. Recently more than 30,000 tests have been conducted daily.

207 tests came back positive, giving a test positivity rate of 2.6%.

The number of patients hospitalized stands at 569, with 319 in serious condition.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 2,664 Israelis have died from the coronavirus.

Updated Nov. 6, 2020 at 2:09 p.m. IL 

More than 33,000 tests were conducted yesterday, Thursday, with a test positivity rate of 1.7%, meaning 560 new cases.

Number of of serious cases also decreased, currently at 327 patients.

Updated Nov. 5, 2020 at 7:50 a.m. IL 

The coronavirus cabinet decided on Wednesday to continue easing restrictions, specifically allowing street-side stores to open on Sunday. Malls will still be closed at this stage of the lockdown exit.

Cases drop slightly to 754 reported cases with a test positivity rate of 2%. The Ministry of Health reported 841 cases on Tuesday and 784 on Monday.

Overall there are 9,406 active virus patients with 353 in serious condition.

Updated Nov. 3, 2020 at 2:41 a.m. IL 

After several weeks of downward test positivity trend, healthcare officials expressed concern on Sunday that trend may be reversing. However, this morning the Ministry of Health reported 744 confirmed cases out of more than 34,000 tests, a rate of 2.3%.

622 Israelis remain hospitalized, 382 in serious condition.

2,580 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported since the beginning of the pandemic.

Updated Nov. 1, 2020 at 9:35 a.m. IL 

Testing in Israel normally drops significantly on Saturdays. The Ministry of Health reported that yesterday only 7,635 tests were performed, about a quarter of the daily number of tests been done the last few weeks.

Because of the low test number the test positivity rate rose to 2.9%, meaning there were 218 confirmed cases.

The number of current hospitalizations continues to decline and stands at 735 patients, 404 defined as in serious condition.

The death toll in Israel since the beginning of the pandemic stands at 2,541.

Updated Oct. 30, 2020 at 8:27 a.m. IL 

Another 630 coronavirus infections were reported yesterday, Thursday. Out of the more than 35,000 tests conducted 1.8% were positive.

Currently in Israel there are 11,254 active cases with 738 of those patients hospitalized, and of those 410 in serious condition.

Since the beginning of the pandemic 2,511 Israelis have died from the virus.

Updated Oct. 28, 2020 at 8:18 p.m. IL 

The Ministry of Health reported another 688 coronavirus cases bring the total since the beginning of the pandemic to 312,787. Israel currently ranks 27 in the world for overall cases. Yet only 11,914 patients are actively infectious.

Updated Oct. 28, 2020 at 9:45 p.m. IL 

398 confirmed cases have been reported today, Wednesday, with a test positivity rate of 1.9%.

Another 2 Israelis have died since midnight, bringing the total number of coronavirus deaths since the beginning of the pandemic to 2,484.

Updated Oct. 27, 2020 at 9:33 a.m. IL 

As the total number of active coronavirus cases continues to drop so does the number of patients in serious condition, currently at 467, according to the Ministry of Health's report this morning.

780 new cases were recorded yesterday. More significant than the total number of new cases, the test positivity rate drops to 2.1%, the lowest in four months.

As of last night, the number of total current active cases in Israel stood at 14,002. Just over three weeks ago that count was 72,164.

Updated Oct. 26, 2020 at 9:58 a.m. IL 

Due to a technical glitch as clocks in Israel turned back an hour between Saturday and Sunday, marking the end of daylight savings time, the Ministry of Health did not report and coronavirus data on Sunday.

Monday morning, however, 559 new cases were reported, with a testing positivity test rate of 3%.

Some health officials have expressed concerns that these statistics do not reflect the true numbers of cases currently in Israel based on reports  that significant portions in the ultra-Orthodox and Arab communities are avoiding testing so that their areas are not designated "red" in the traffic light plan, which would carry specific restrictions.

In addition to these concerns, the Times of Israel posted about a Channel 12 investigative report from the beginning of October regarding secret treatment of coronavirus patients in ultra-Orthodox areas, which also distorted the official statistics.

Updated Oct. 23, 2020 at 11:22 a.m. IL 

The Ministry of Health reported 895 confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday, with a 2.8% positive test rate.

The number of active cases continues to drop, currently standing at 17,279, out of 308,572 confirmed infections from the beginning of the pandemic.

Updated Oct. 22, 2020 at 9:42 a.m. IL 

On Oct. 2, in the midst of a second national lockdown, the total number of active coronavirus cases rose to 72,164. In just three weeks that number has dropped by over 50,000. As of Wednesday night the number stood at 19,559, marking the first time it's been below 20,000 since July 12. On Wednesday, 1,089 people tested positive for COVID-19, just 2.7 percent.

The total number of cases in Israel since the beginning of the pandemic currently stands at 307,765, about 3.5 percent of Israel's population, which is about 9 million.

Updated Oct. 21, 2020 at 11:12 a.m. IL 

Sunday began the first stage of exit from the second national lockdown, and infection rates continue to decline. Yesterday only 1,165 new cases were reported, with a positive test rate of 3%.

Currently out of 21,010 active cases 1,079 coronavirus patients are hospitalized, 591 in critical condition.

The number of Israelis who have died from the virus since the beginning of the pandemic stands at 2,278.

Updated Oct. 18, 2020 at 10:12 p.m. IL 

Israel started easing up on restrictions today allowing children to return to nursery school and kindergartens and businesses that do not receive the public to open. According to the Health Ministry, only 313 cases had been diagnosed on Saturday with a positivity rate of 3 percent. Shabbat is a low testing day, but in recent weeks some 9,000 Israelis tested positive in a single day so 313 is still rather low even for a Saturday.

Updated Oct. 16, 2020 at 2:25 p.m. IL 

New COVID cases continue to drop as 1,608 cases recorded yesterday, Thursday. In comparison, on last Thursday about 3,700 confirmed cases were reported and the Thursday before about 7,700.

Also on Thursday the government’s coronavirus cabinet voted to begin rolling back some of the severe restrictions put into place a month ago in order to control an out-of-control spread of COVID-19 here.

Since the beginning of the pandemic 301,289 Israelis have been infected, with 260,803 already recovery. This makes Israel the 24th country to pass 300,000 confirmed cases, but the only one in that group with a population under 10 million.

Updated Oct. 15, 2020 at 12:05 p.m. IL 

The Ministry of Health reported this morning that in the past day 2,004 new infections have been confirmed, an important marker for removing certain restrictions on the public.

The "corona" cabinet meets later today to discuss whether the lower infection rates justify opening pre-school and kindergartens next week, as well as lifting other aspects of the lockdown that has been in place for the past four weeks.

Updated Oct. 13, 2020 at 1:20 p.m. IL 

As of Tuesday morning, Israel had recorded 2,021 deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March.

However, the rate of infections has continued its downward trend and stood at 6.5 percent on Monday – the lowest it has been in weeks.

Israel has 51,250 active cases of coronavirus currently with 801 patients in serious condition including 242 on ventilators. The Health Ministry said that the cities with the highest number of active cases per 10,000 residents were all majority ultra-Orthodox: Modiin Illit, Tifrah, Rechasim, Bnei Brak and Elad.

Updated Oct. 11, 2020 at 8:40 p.m. IL 

The Health Ministry announced this morning that the number of daily coronavirus tests have plummeted to lowest level positive rate Israel has seen in months.

Only 887 infections were diagnosed on Saturday, but it was a holiday and testing tends to be lower anyway. The percentage though was down to 7.3 percent.

Updated Oct. 9, 2020 at 1:46 p.m. IL 

The Ministry of Health reported that the encouraging trend of lower positive rate of coronavirus tests continue, now standing at 8% of the almost 49,000 tests conducted yesterday.

Another interesting statistic noted by the Ministry of Health was that out of the 3,693 new cases yesterday 81% came from "red" cities, those designated with high infection rates.

Updated Oct. 8, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. IL 

The government expressing cautious optimism as the infectious rate continues to drop.

According to the Ministry of Health, 4117 new cases were recorded since yesterday, representing a positive rate of about 9%. In the recent weeks the positive rate had been has high as 15%, but finally results of the strict lockdown are been seen as this has been the third straight day Israel has seen the rate decrease.

Currently active COVID cases stand at 61,049. This represents a decrease of about 10,000 less than the peak registered less than a week ago.

13 COVID-related deaths have been recorded since midnight and the overall count has reached 1,846 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Updated Oct. 7, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. IL 

Since the government voted to impose on a severe three-week national lockdown, a slew of ministers and other national figures have violated the very rules they voted for.

Israelis and opposition leaders are calling for the dismissal of Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel prayed at a synagogue on Yom Kippur in Tiberias, violating a travel ban between cities. She was later diagnosed with COVID-19.

Sara Netanyahu, wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, violated lockdown restrictions by having a hairdresser come to her Jerusalem residence, according to a report by Yediot Ahronot. Lockdown regulations, approved by her husband, forbid Israelis from entering other people’s homes and - in addition - hairdressers are not considered essential.

Then, Nadav Argaman, head of the Shin Bet internal security service which is tasked with the controversial cellphone tracking of citizens diagnosed with COVID-19, violated lockdown regulations by hosting family members for Sukkot that are not part of his nuclear family, KAN reported.

Ministers approved fines of $145 for anyone caught in another home or a sukkah not their own.

Knesset Member Mickey Levy announced he will resign from the Knesset’s Coronavirus Committee for apparently staying at his son's house on the eve of Sukkot and meeting extended family on the holiday despite the general closure.

Updated Oct. 7, 2020 at 11:10 a.m. IL 

On Wednesday, the Health Ministry reported the infection rate was 10.5 percent, down from the previous day's 11.4 percent. There were 4,674 new coronavirus cases discovered on Tuesday with some 855 people  in serious condition and 223 of them on ventilators. The death toll rose overnight to 1,803.

Updated Oct. 6, 2020 at 10:44 a.m. IL 

Updated numbers this morning from the Ministry of Health show 5,647 new coronavirus cases were discovered yesterday after 52,059 tests were conducted. That is an 11.4 percent ratio, a continued downward trend.

The death toll is 1,757 as of Tuesday morning. The number of patients in serious condition is 875, 220 of them on ventilators.

The number of tests conducted had decreased over the holiday weekend resulting in fewer infections, however the percent of those testing positive has held steady in the 11 to 12 percent range. Testing has gone up since Sunday resulting in a higher number of cases reported. Last week Israel set a record with 9,200 testing positive in one day.

Updated Oct. 5, 2020 at 10:43 a.m. IL 

The Ministry of Health reported that out of 26,332 tests on Monday some 2,905 returned positive, an 11.7 percent contagion rate. The number of patients in serious condition is 878 and 1,624 patients are hospitalized in total with 215 on ventilators.

The official death toll has gone up to 1,719.

Updated Oct. 4, 2020 at 12:05 p.m. IL 

Police handed out the highest number of tickets - 7,000 - related to breaking COVID restrictions in one day over the Sukkot holiday and even shut down a yeshiva on Saturday in Bnei Brak after pictures and video showed dozens of people praying there against the rules.

In Jerusalem, police were pelted while trying to enforce restrictions and are gearing up for more unrest and showdowns in the highly uncompliant ultra-Orthodox community.

Police raided a synagogue at the Ponevezh Yeshiva and an administrator was apparently fined 5,000 shekels ($1,456) along with other people gathered.

The record number of fines on Saturday included 5,171 for people in places they were not supposed to be; 1,415 for not wearing masks; 98 for breaking isolation; and 209 for gathering in a sukkah.

Updated Oct. 4, 2020 at 9:29 a.m. IL 

The Ministry of Health reported 5,063 new cases and 46 deaths over Shabbat.

The mortality rate in Israel from COVID-19 remains high. In the last three days alone 105 have died, bringing the total since the beginning of the pandemic to 1,679.

Updated Oct. 2, 2020 at 2:20 p.m. IL 

Israelis will be celebrating the beginning of Sukkot this evening under tight restrictions and potential fines of $145 for being caught in another person's sukkah.

Along with a new set of rules pertaining to the holiday, the government issued a warning on Thursday that the holiday tents that Jews erect to commemorate the biblical feast presented a potential coronavirus incubator despite being outdoors.

While families may have smaller sukkahs in their gardens or shared public spaces, synagogues traditionally build massive tents that can host hundreds at a time for prayers, meals and even sleeping. The complicated rulings are being interpreted differently: Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, for example, said the rules allow up to 20 people to pray in a 50 percent open sukkah, but not to sit, eat or sleep in it. Another ultra-Orthodox politician said  “50 percent open” is considered outdoors.

With new reports that the ultra-Orthodox make up 40 percent of all coronavirus cases, police will be on patrol to fine people for visiting another person's sukkah, a new regulation approved by the Knesset this week.

In an opinion piece published in The Jerusalem Post said in light of wanton disregard the ultra-Orthodox community has for the rules, it is time for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party to break its dependency on the religious parties. The author cited "thousands of mask-less worshipers crowded: into a synagogue among other examples.

Here is an excerpt: "These are not anecdotes. Rather, these are symptoms of a political disease, the sour grapes of an era in which Likud effectively told ultra-Orthodoxy that secular Israel is fine with the ultra-Orthodox way. And the ultra-Orthodox way means placing the tribe above the public, the ghetto above the country, and the rabbi above the state."

As of Thursday, more than 7,639 people were diagnosed positive for COVID in a single day and the death toll rose to 1,622.

Updated Oct. 1, 2020 at 9:30 p.m. IL 

Some 1,600 people in Israel have died of COVID-19 as of today, the Health Ministry said, with more than 9,013 new coronavirus cases confirmed yesterday.

Also, 40 percent of all coronavirus cases are from the ultra-Orthodox sector, according to Ronny Gamzu, commissioner of the coronavirus task force. The ultra-Orthodox comprise just 12 percent of Israel's population.

Updated Sept 27, 2020 at 1:22 p.m. IL 

AIN reports On the eve of Yom Kippur, Israel reaching the ‘point of no return’ in fight against coronavirus. Health Ministry director-general predicts Israel’s three-week closure to last longer as 15 percent of test results return positive.

Updated Sept 27, 2020 at 12:15 p.m. IL

Coronavirus infections hit a record of 9,200 new cases. Netanyahu seeks emergency powers to curb protests. Israel sees 59 COVID-19 deaths in one day.

Updated Sept 25, 2020 at 11:42 p.m. IL 

Virus surges to over 7,500 daily cases as Israel set to enter full lockdown.

669 in serious condition, 167 on ventilators; 12.8% of tests come back positive.

Updated Sept 24, 2020 at 4:47 p.m. IL

AIN reports Government adopts ‘hermetic’ closure of country with new restrictions. Israel has the dubious distinction of being first nation to enter second lockdown due to COVID spread.

Updated Sept 23, 2020 at 2:11 p.m. IL

Virus surges to almost 6923 cases. 31 fatalities bought the death toll to 1,316.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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