COVID Cases in Mass. Schools Continue Downward Trend

In the last week, 3,062 students and 1,154 employees at Massachusetts schools tested positive for COVID-19, representing 0.33% of the student body and 0.82% of school staff

The number of new COVID-19 cases identified in Massachusetts schools has fallen for a fourth consecutive week.

The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the numbers Thursday in its weekly COVID-19 report, which covers June 9 through June 15.

Officials confirmed 3,062 student cases and 1,154 staff cases in that week, representing 0.33% of students and 0.82% of school workers.

In total, Massachusetts schools reported 4,216 cases, a drop of about 23.8% from last Thursday's report, when 5,534 cases were confirmed. That week's data showed a decrease of about 31.2% from the prior week.

The drop in cases comes after an upward trend that began in early March and continued for months following Massachusetts' decision to lift the statewide school mask mandate. Cases first appeared to slow in the report issued May 19, which showed an increase of just 7.3% over the report on May 12 — when cases rose by 62.6%.

The peak of school cases this year came on Jan. 13, when 48,414 were reported following the holiday season and the omicron surge.

The FDA must still decide whether to take the recommendations and approve the COVID-19 vaccine for kids between six months and 5 years old.

Thursday's report comes just a day after an announcement from the Boston Public Health Commission that masks will no longer be required in Boston Public Schools starting Monday, June 13.

The recommendation from the BPHC was based upon a recent decline in COVID cases and hospitalizations, as well as fewer traces of the virus showing up in the city's wastewater.

The total number of positive COVID-19 cases reported by 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 report on June 16, 2021, included only 53 new cases in students and 5 among school staff.

Top Boston doctors explain talk about increasing cases in the U.K., the BA.4, BA.5 subvariants rising in New England and a study with new insight on why some people experience long COVID during NBC10 Boston’s weekly series, “COVID Q&A.”
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