COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts schools are continuing to increase.
The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the numbers Thursday in its weekly COVID-19 report, which covers March 17-23.
A total of 2,594 cases were reported in schools in that time, an increase of 572 since the previous week.
This week's report includes 1,993 student cases and 601 employee cases.
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Last Thursday's report showed 1,597 student cases and 425 staff cases for a total of 2,022.
COVID cases in schools were on the rise through the holiday season and the omicron surge, but had trended downward after Jan. 13, when 48,414 were reported.
The new cases reported Thursday represent 0.22% of students and 0.43% of workers in Massachusetts schools.
In Concord, Peabody Middle School were closed for cleaning Friday after an outbreak there.
More on the COVID-19 pandemic
Massachusetts' statewide school mask mandate was lifted at the end of last month, leaving each district to decide on its own whether facial coverings would be required.
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 report on June 16, 2021, included only 53 new cases in students and 5 among school staff.