3,245 new coronavirus cases reported in Massachusetts schools in past week
State education officials on Thursday reported a total of more than 3,200 staff and students testing positive for COVID-19 in the past week, another increase as virus cases again rise across the state.
The total of 3,245 staff and students is a 25% increase from the previous weekly report of 2,594 infections. COVID-19 cases are climbing in the state after mask mandates were lifted and as the omicron BA.2 “stealth” variant spreads.
The report published on Thursday by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shows that 2,441 students and 804 staff tested positive for the coronavirus from March 24 to Wednesday.
Coronavirus pool testing is being used in more than 2,200 public and private schools, about double last year’s count, according to DESE. The test positivity rate in school in this report was 1.36%, up from 0.98% in the last report.
Districts with the most cases in the past week includes: 115 cases in Boston; 94 in Brookline; 72 in Newton; 69 in Winchester; and 63 in Milton.
Boston Public Schools reported 64 student cases and 51 staff cases in the past week.
The K-12 schools mask mandate was lifted at the end of February, as most districts made it optional to wear masks. Boston Public Schools continues to require masks for now.
With no remote learning options allowed this year, all kids are back to school in-person full time. Across all grade levels, an estimated 920,000 students and 140,000 staff are now participating in some form of in-person learning.
The DESE weekly report includes the number of positive COVID-19 cases as reported to DESE by school districts including charter schools and collaboratives.