Coronavirus ward at Ziv Medical Center
Coronavirus ward at Ziv Medical CenterDavid Cohen/Flash90

Israel's Health Ministry on Saturday evening reported that 2,435 people were diagnosed with coronavirus on Friday - the highest number since March.

Out of 18,273 active coronavirus cases, 326 people are hospitalized.

At the same time, the number of seriously ill coronavirus patients rose to 201, a rise of 22 since Friday. Of those, 37 are in critical condition, and 31 are intubated.

On Friday, 111,052 coronavirus tests were performed, and 2.49% of the results received were positive.

Meanwhile, according to Ulpan Shishi, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has decided to change the way the pandemic is managed: The government will use the hospitals' capacity to care for coronavirus patients as a metric for determining when to institute restrictions or a lockdown.

Previously, the determining metric had been the number of new cases daily, or the number of seriously ill coronavirus patients.

"In accordance with this policy, only when we are a touch away from this situation, will it lead to a lockdown," the report said, adding that this will ensure that the lockdown is "short, effective, efficient, and tight."

The lag time between when a surge in new cases is diagnosed to when there is a surge of new coronavirus patients in hospitals is approximately 4-6 weeks, though with the Delta variant, the number of serious cases began to rise within approximately two weeks of the surge in new infections.