A total of 2,022 COVID-19 cases were reported in Massachusetts schools in the last week, an increase of 305 since the previous week.
The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the numbers Thursday in its weekly COVID-19 report, which covers March 10-16.
In that time period, 1,597 students and 425 employees tested positive.
Last Thursday's report showed 1,345 student cases and 372 staff cases for a total of 1,717.
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. Last week's report showed a slight increase from the weekly average of the one issued March 3, which covered two weeks including February vacation.
The new cases reported Thursday represent 0.15% of students and 0.26% of workers in Massachusetts schools.
In Concord, Peabody Middle School will be closed for cleaning Friday after 44 cases were reported this week. Eight of the cases were reported Thursday, which is not included in the state's report.
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.