160 More Students, Staff at Mass. Schools Test Positive for Coronavirus

There have now been a total of 259 cases in students and 160 in staff dating back to Sept. 24

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Massachusetts health officials on Thursday announced that 92 more students and 68 additional staff members had tested positive for the coronavirus over the past week.

The cases were reported to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education between Oct. 8 and Oct. 14, and include only students who have been participating in in-person learning.

There have now been a total of 259 cases in students and 160 in staff dating back to Sept. 24. Districts with the highest number of cases include Lawrence with 14, Marlborough with 12 and Boston with six. The numbers are self-reported by the individual school districts.

The data comes amid concerns over in-person learning amid a rise in coronavirus cases in Massachusetts.

Last week, the Boston Teachers Union filed an injunction to halt in-person learning at Boston Public Schools, citing coronavirus concerns. A judge denied their request earlier this week.

How are school and public health officials responding? How is their learning plan evolving? And what are the biggest challenges with remote learning? Supt. Dr. Joe Sawyer talks with NBC 10 Boston’s Brian Shactman as part of our ongoing series, Class During COVID: Your Questions Answered.

Boston delayed plans to continue reopening schools in the city last week when the coronavirus positivity rate hit 4%. But the 1,300 highest-need students, who had already returned to class, are continuing with in-person learning if their parents so choose.

Mayor Marty Walsh said Thursday that the city is still evaluating whether to move ahead with the return of preschool and kindergarten students next week, and said a decision could be made over the weekend.

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