More Than 51K COVID Cases Reported in Mass. Schools Over Last 2 Weeks

A total of 51,100 students and employees tested positive for COVID-19 between Dec. 23 and Jan. 5, a major increase in weekly average from the last report from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

An undated photo of a school classroom.
NBC 5 News

The weekly average of COVID-19 cases among students and staff at Massachusetts schools has increased by more than two and a half times since the state's last report, with 51,100 cases reported since over two weeks.

The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the numbers Thursday in its weekly COVID-19 report, which covers Dec. 23 through Jan. 5. Numbers were not reported last week due to the holiday.



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In that time period, 38,887 students tested positive for coronavirus, as well as 12,213 staff members.

In the last report on Dec. 23 — which covered one week of data — Massachusetts schools reported a total of 10,120 cases, including 8,576 students and 1,544 staff members.

Over the last two weeks, the weekly average of student cases was 19,443.5, more than double the prior report; the weekly average of employee cases, 6,106.5, nearly quadruples that from Dec. 23.

The positive cases from Thursday's report represent 4.24% of the students and 8.72% of the staff at Massachusetts schools.

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.

There has been confusion over new CDC guidance surrounding COVID-19 isolation requirements if you test positive for the virus.

Also Thursday, Massachusetts health officials reported another 24,570 new confirmed COVID-19 cases — shy of the state's single-day record that was set a day earlier — and 43 moredeaths.

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