Mass. School COVID Cases Up Over 40% Since Last Week's Report With Total of 5,363

In the last week, 4,000 Massachusetts students and 1,363 school employees have tested positive for COVID-19, an increase of about 42.4% since the previous report

Empty school hallway
Photo by RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

New COVID-19 cases reported in Massachusetts schools have spiked significantly in the last week, increasing by more than 42%.

The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the numbers Thursday in its weekly COVID-19 report, which covers April 7-13.



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The report revealed 5,363 coronavirus cases in that time, including 4,000 student cases and 1,363 employee cases.

The total number of new cases was an increase of 1,597 from last Thursday's report.

New cases have been trending upward in recent weeks, but Thursday's rise of about 42.4% was more stark than in last week's report, when there was a 16% increase from the previous week.

March 31 saw a 25% increase in total cases over the March 24 report, which itself showed an increase of 28% over the cases reported on March 17.

The students included in Thursday's report represent 0.43% of the state's student body, while 0.97% of Massachusetts school employees tested positive.

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.

From around the start of March, though, cases have ticked back up.

Massachusetts' statewide school mask mandate was lifted at the end of February, 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.

Top Boston doctors discuss rising COVID wastewater data and cases in Massachusetts and whether that could lead to the return of a mask mandate on NBC10 Boston’s weekly “COVID Q&A” series.
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