Coronavirus tests
Coronavirus tests Yossi Aloni/Flash90

Friday saw 54,135 new coronavirus cases diagnosed, Israel's Health Ministry said Saturday night, adding that the total number of active cases had reached 442,229.

Meanwhile, nearly 2,000 (1,967) coronavirus patients are hospitalized throughout the country, with 732 of them in serious condition or worse. That number includes 208 whose condition is critical. A total of 146 COVID-19 patients are intubated.

Of the coronavirus test results received Friday, 20.61% were positive, the Ministry added. That is the highest percentage Israel has seen since the start of the pandemic - and it does not include unreported home antigen tests.

In the past seven days, 68 people have died of coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths to 8,393.

There are also 9,867 healthcare workers in quarantine: 1,379 doctors, 2,916 nurses, and 5,572 other healthcare employees.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has announced that starting at the end of next week, Israeli schoolchildren will not be required to quarantine upon exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 patient. Instead, Israel will move to a model which relies on parents testing their children twice each week, and keeping those children who test positive at home and in quarantine. It is not clear how the government plans to enforce the testing requirement.

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