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Coronavirus

Israel Opens Its School Year amid New COVID-19 Outbreak

September 1, 2020

JERUSALEM — Israel has opened its new school year while facing a persistently high coronavirus infection rate, with restrictions in place to try to prevent the virus’s spread.

Classes begin Tuesday in most of the country, with an estimated 2.4 million students returning to school. But in 23 communities that the health ministry classified as outbreak epicenters, the reopening will be delayed.

Students from third grade and up are required to wear face masks in the classroom. Class sizes for most grades will be limited to 18 students. Middle and high school students will study in the classroom only twice per week, with the remainder of lessons being held online.

Israel has recorded over 116,000 cases of the virus since the start of the pandemic, including 939 deaths. The country saw a major spike in new cases after it reopened the economy and schools following the nationwide lockdown in May.

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