Coronavirus Live Updates: Fight Over Aid Package Drags On

Coronavirus Live Updates: Fight Over Aid Package Drags On

Coronavirus Live Updates: Fight Over Aid Package Drags On

Coronavirus Live Updates: Fight Over Aid Package Drags On

Within days, infections were reported at a Jerusalem high school, which quickly mushroomed into the largest outbreak in a single school in Israel, possibly the world.

The virus rippled out to the students’ homes and then to other schools and neighborhoods, ultimately infecting hundreds of students, teachers and relatives. Other outbreaks forced hundreds of schools to close. Across the country, tens of thousands of students and teachers were quarantined.

Israel’s advice for other countries?

“They definitely should not do what we have done,” said Eli Waxman, a professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science and chairman of the team advising Israel’s National Security Council on the pandemic. “It was a major failure.”

The lesson, experts say, is that even communities that have gotten the spread of the virus under control need to take strict precautions when reopening schools. Smaller classes, mask wearing, keeping desks six feet apart and providing adequate ventilation, they say, are likely to be crucial until a vaccine is available.

“If there is a low number of cases, there is an illusion that the disease is over,” said Dr. Hagai Levine, a professor of epidemiology and the chairman of the Israeli Association of Public Health Physicians. “But it’s a complete illusion.”

The United States is facing similar pressures to fully reopen schools, but is in a far worse position than Israel was in May: Israel had fewer than 100 new infections a day then. The United States is now averaging more than 60,000 new cases a day, and some states continue to set alarming records.

On Tuesday, the secretary general of the United Nations, António Guterres, said that over a billion children worldwide were affected by school closures last month, exacerbating what he called a “learning crisis” before the pandemic in which more than 250 million children had been out of school. “We are at a defining moment for the world’s children and young people,” Mr. Guterres said.




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