Worker in Netanyahu’s office diagnosed with COVID-19

Tel Aviv (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.