coronavirus testing tent
coronavirus testing tent Kobi Richter/TPS

The Ministry of Health announced Sunday that there are currently 13,497 coronavirus cases in Israel. The death toll stands at 172. 146 patients are in serious condition, 109 of which are on respirators. 142 are in moderate condition. 3,754 Israelis have recovered from COVID-19. The number of patients in serious condition has declined by nine percent.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Rafi Peretz (Yamina) announced in an interview with Channel 12 this evening that "there will be no escape from school being extended into July. You can't have everyone else working and only the teachers on vacation. In August, summer vacation will continue as planned."

According to Peretz, as part of upcoming measures to restart the national economy, the Education Ministry wants, "kindergartens to be opened in small supervised frameworks of 7-8 kids per preschool". He added: "Grades 1-3 will attend classes 4-5 days a week, and grades 4-6 two to three a week - other grades will continue long-distance learning."

Regarding a statement from the teachers' union that they would only agree to work nine days over the span of summer vacation, the Minister of Education said: "There is an outline that the Treasury has defined, and there is an outline that the Workers' Union wants - we as the Ministry should act as the middle ground and establish a balance between the parties so that teachers know they're getting their salaries—but not all of it."

Secretary-General of the Teachers Union Yaffe Ben David was furious with Peretz's plan to cut down on summer break, saying: "We will not add one day of work in July (over summer vacation) at our expense," and demanded that the Ministry of Finance fund summer schools instead of having teachers work for free. He said he "[did] not agree with the Minister of Education regarding school in July. Ben David also stated no one was aware of the difficulties facing educators teaching remotely.