More Massachusetts students tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week than in the previous two, continuing a sharp upward trend of cases in schools.
The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the numbers Thursday in its weekly COVID-19 report, which covers Jan. 6 through Jan. 12.
In that time period, 41,063 students tested positive for coronavirus, as well as 7,351 staff members, for a total of 48,414 school cases.
That student case count over a single week is higher than the total from the prior two weeks by 2,176. In the last report on Jan. 6 — which covered 14 days of data due to the holidays — Massachusetts schools reported a total of 51,100 cases, including 38,887 students and 12,213 staff members.
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Fewer employees tested positive in Thursday's single-week data set — though the weekly average increased from 6,106.5 in the Jan. 6 report — but the rate of student cases more than doubled from 19,443.5.
The data on Jan. 6, itself, represented a major increase over the previous report on Dec. 23. That one-week report showed 8,576 student cases and 1,544 staff cases.
The positive cases from this Thursday's report represent 4.46% of the students and 5.25% of the staff at Massachusetts schools.
More on the COVID-19 pandemic
The total number of positive COVID-19 cases reported by the DESE takes into account school districts (including charter schools), collaboratives, and approved special education schools. The data only represents what has been reported to the state.
The state had stopped publicly reporting the school data in mid-June as school was winding down and cases were dropping. The June 16 report included only 53 new cases in students and 5 among school staff.
Also Thursday, Massachusetts health officials reported another 18,721 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 36 more deaths.