Massachusetts schools saw a slight increase in coronavirus cases this week, with 969 new cases reported among students and staff.
The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the numbers Thursday in its weekly COVID-19 report. A total of 624 students and 345 employees with district building access within seven days of the report tested positive between Jan. 21 and Jan. 27.
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That's an increase of 35 total cases from the previous week. The last report said 544 students and 390 district staff tested positive, for a total of 934 cases.
School districts have the option of providing in-person learning, remote learning or a hybrid of the two depending on the level of coronavirus cases in their communities.
State officials announced in early November that all Massachusetts communities in the gray, green and yellow COVID risk categories are expected to have students learning in-person. They added that those in the highest-risk red category should consider a hybrid model instead of going fully remote.
While the number of positive cases in schools has fluctuated, the estimated number of students and staff in public school buildings has remained the same over the past month.