COVID Cases in Mass. Schools Continue to Climb; More Than 8,000 Reported in Last Week

A total of 8,376 students and employees tested positive for COVID-19 between Dec. 9 and Dec. 15, 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 8,000 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 8,376 cases were reported between Dec. 9 and Dec. 15, including 7,223 students and 1,153 staff.



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The latest report shows student cases represent 0.79% of the estimated 920,000 students enrolled in K-12 schools. DESE said 0.82% of the roughly 140,000 staff members tested positive in the last week.

The newest data shows there were almost 400 more cases than the week prior. In the previous report, 6,879 students and 1,105 employees tested positive for COVID.

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.

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Also Thursday, Massachusetts health officials reported another 5,883 new confirmed COVID-19 cases -- the most in one day since January -- and 30 new deaths. The last time more than 5,833 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in one day in Massachusetts was Jan. 9, as the winter surge was receding, according to state data.

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