JERUSALEM (Reuters) – An employee in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office tested positive for the coronavirus, his office said on Monday, without saying whether the 70-year-old leader had been exposed.
A statement from Netanyahu’s office said an “epidemiological investigation is being conducted, which will provide appropriate guidelines for those who came into contact” with the employee.
Netanyahu has previously self-isolated after two separate COVID-19 scares — first in March after coming into contact with an infected aide, and later in April after his then-health minister was diagnosed with the virus.
The premier tested negative for the virus on both those occasions. Israel’s health ministry generally requires 14-day self-isolation for anyone deemed to have been in proximity with an infected person.
Israel has reported more than 17,100 COVID-19 cases and 285 deaths. After enacting restrictions early in the outbreak, Israel eased its lockdown in mid-April and gradually allowed schools, businesses, beaches, shops and restaurants to reopen, citing a sustained decrease in new infections.
But infection rates have ticked up over the past week, and Netanyahu has warned that coronavirus curbs would be reimposed if the trend continues.
Reporting by Rami Ayyub; Editing by Peter Graff