COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts schools have continued to climb, with a total of 3,766 reported in the last week.
The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the numbers Thursday in its weekly COVID-19 report, which covers March 31 to April 6.
The total number of new cases was an increase of 521, or roughly 16%, from last Thursday's report.
The rate by which cases rose is lower this week than in the last two reports (about 25% on March 31 and about 28% on March 24).
In the last week, Massachusetts schools reported 2,782 student cases and 984 staff cases — representing 0.3% of students and 0.7% of employees.
Last week's report included a total of 3,245 school cases, with 2,441 students and 804 workers testing 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.
More on the COVID-19 pandemic
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.