Israel’s Active COVID Cases Fall Below 1,000 for the First Time in Over a Year

The number of people with coronavirus infection in Israel dipped to 985 on Sunday – the lowest it’s been in 14 months.

The last time the number of active COVID cases dropped to under 1,000 was March 21, 2020, when there were 980 infected people, during the first wave of the pandemic. The number continued to rise after that, peaking about three months ago. In early February, a month and a half into the vaccine drive, there were more than 74,000 active cases, and the daily number of new confirmed cases was close to 9,000, with the infiltration of the particularly infectious British variant.

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On Sunday, with some 4.5 million Israelis vaccinated (mostly with both doses) and another 830,000 recovered from the virus, the picture has changed completely. On Saturday only 17 new cases were identified – a tiny 0.2 percent out of 11,500 tests administered that day. There are currently 84 people hospitalized with COVID in serious condition.

The figure of 17 confirmed new cases takes into consideration that fewer people are tested over the weekend, as has been the case throughout the pandemic. However, numbers have been low midweek as well.

In addition, all but two of the 275 communities that are monitored by the “traffic light” plan (communities with at least 2,000 people) are all classified as “green” for the first time since the plan was instituted (two small communities, Nili in the Mateh Binjamin Regional Council and Ein Hahoresh in the Hefer Valley – are still classified as “yellow,” although the regional council they belong to is classified as green.

The downward trend in COVID cases has continued even after the education system returned to full activity several weeks ago (albeit under mask and social distancing rules). At present mass events are subject to green passport rules as are restaurants, cultural events and other events with large numbers of people.

On Thursday more restrictions were lifted in some cases, no longer subjecting them to green passport rules, but rather only purple badge rules – which limit capacity, mandate masks and social distancing, but do not bar unvaccinated people from entry. Even if this has not been officially stated, it is preliminary recognition that the vaccinated people provide greater protection, even of people who have not yet been vaccinated.