COVID Cases in Mass. Schools Continue to Climb; More Than 10,000 Reported in Last Week

A total of 10,120 students and employees tested positive for COVID-19 between Dec. 16 and Dec. 22, according to data released Thursday from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

An undated photo of a school classroom.
NBC 5 News

The number of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts schools continues to rise as cases are surging across the state. More than 10,000 students and staff tested positive for the virus in the past week.

The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the numbers Thursday in its weekly COVID-19 report, which shows a total of 10,120 cases were reported between Dec. 16 and Dec. 22, including 8,576 students and 1,544 staff members.

The latest report shows student cases represent 0.93% of the estimated 920,000 students enrolled in K-12 schools. DESE said 1.1% of the roughly 140,000 staff members tested positive in the last week.

The newest data shows there were 1,744 more cases than the week prior. In the previous report, 7,223 students and 1,153 employees tested positive for COVID, a total of 8,376.

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.

Dr. Cassandra Pierre, of Boston Medical Center, talks about omicron variant concerns ahead of holiday gatherings.

Also Thursday, Massachusetts health officials reported another 9,042 new confirmed COVID-19 cases — a second consecutive day breaking the state's single-day record — and 47 new deaths.

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