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Police said probing if man who violated quarantine caused Modiin school outbreak

TV report says Health Ministry filed a complaint against suspect, who recently returned from abroad, though it isn’t fully clear if he was original source of infection in 11 kids

Illustrative: Israeli students arrive at a high school in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, November 29, 2020. (Flash90)
Illustrative: Israeli students arrive at a high school in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, November 29, 2020. (Flash90)

Police were reportedly probing whether coronavirus infections among 11 kids at a school in Modiin were caused by a man who violated quarantine after returning from overseas.

The Health Ministry filed a complaint with police against the man after the infections were detected among the 6th graders, Channel 12 news reported Tuesday.

The network quoted an investigation by the Health Ministry district branch as saying the suspect “did not fulfill the quarantine requirement in full upon his return from overseas and did not perform a [coronavirus] test on the ninth day, allowing him to shorten the quarantine from 14 days.”

The statement citing the need for quarantine but not in a state-run facility, implied that the man may not have been vaccinated.

However, the report said the Health Ministry filed the complaint despite it not being fully clear the man was the cause of outbreak, to show “zero tolerance” for those who violate quarantine after arriving from abroad.

After the outbreak was detected, the rest of the students were sent to quarantine and the IDF’s Home Front Command was testing children in all grades for other potential infections.

The announcement of the infections came as Israel on Tuesday ended the requirement for masks to be worn indoors, marking the end of one of the only major coronavirus restrictions remaining in the country after the successful vaccination drive drove down new daily cases to nearly zero.

A Health Ministry announcement on the lifting of the mandate did not exempt schools despite in the past saying that masks would still be required because the majority of those under 16 have yet to be vaccinated.

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