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Positive COVID test rate hits 7.8%, the highest since February

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The rate of coronavirus tests returning positive is still climbing, Health Ministry figures released Monday showed, even as Israel feverishly rolls out booster shots to curb the virus.

Of the 91,051 tests conducted Sunday, 7.81 percent returned positive, according to ministry numbers, the highest rate since mid-February.

There were 6,576 new cases identified on Sunday, the second day in a row the number has dropped, following 7,201 on Saturday and 8,579 on Friday. However, testing rates over the weekend tend to dip, giving lower numbers.

The virus reproduction number has also been sliding, and in Monday’s report was given as 1.1. The figure, calculated to show the situation 10 days earlier, refers to the number of people each infected person transmits the virus to. Values over 1 show infections are rising; under 1 indicates that the outbreak is shrinking.

Of the 79,625 active coronavirus cases in the country reported by the ministry on Monday, 731 were in serious condition. The death toll since the start of the pandemic last year was 6,990, with eight people having died the day before. Sunday’s grim tally was the lowest daily fatality rate for nearly three weeks.

The number of seriously ill, though generally rising, has leveled out over the past week, a fact that Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash said is encouraging enough to make a lockdown over the High Holidays in September no longer under consideration.

However, Ash told the Kan public broadcaster, he is........

© The Times of Israel

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