The number of patients hospitalized in serious condition due to the coronavirus dropped to 460 on Friday, the lowest recorded number in nearly two months.
Of those patients, 349 were unvaccinated, 68 received only two of the three vaccine doses, and 29 patients had received all three shots.
Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science said earlier this week that the total number of serious coronavirus cases could fall to as low as 250 by the end of the month.
There are still some 720,000 Israelis eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine who have not yet received a single dose, according to Health Ministry data.
There were 2,064 new COVID cases confirmed on Thursday, with active infections standing at 31,868 on Friday morning.
There have been 1,302,083 verified infections since the pandemic began and 7,885 reported deaths.
Of the over 100,000 samples tested on Thursday, 2.14 percent came back positive, also the lowest recorded rate in over two months.
According to the Health Ministry, 6,174,330 people in Israel have received at least one vaccine dose and 5,675,635 have gotten two shots. Another 3,706,434 — some 40 percent of the total population — have been administered a third dose.
There are some 2 million Israelis under the age of 12 (some 21%), who are not eligible for a vaccine at this stage.
Israel — the first country to officially offer a third dose — began its COVID-19 booster campaign on August 1, initially rolling it out to those over the age of 60. It then gradually dropped the eligibility age, eventually expanding it to everyone aged 12 and up who received the second shot at least five months ago.
As cases fall, the Health Ministry and Prime Minister’s Office said Thursday that beginning next week, students in towns with low COVID-19 case rates will be able to avoid the quarantine mandated for those who come in contact with a coronavirus carrier.
Those students in locales identified as “green cities” by the Health Ministry will undergo PCR tests carried out by the IDF’s Home Front Command or one of the country’s Health Management Organizations.
Once a student receives a negative test, they will be allowed to return to school immediately rather than being subject to a week-long quarantine.
Exposed students will then undergo rapid tests every day for a week, at the end of which they will take one more PCR test before the class is allowed to return to routine operation.