10,715 new COVID cases reported in Massachusetts schools in past week
State education officials on Thursday reported a total of more than 10,000 staff and students testing positive for COVID-19 in the past week.
The count of 10,715 staff and students is significantly more than the previous weekly average of 4,324 infections. COVID cases have been climbing in the state as the omicron BA.2 variant spreads.
The report published on Thursday by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shows that 8,079 students and 2,636 staff tested positive from April 28 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 this report was 2.65%, up from 2.0% in the last report.
Districts with the most cases in the past week include: 435 cases in Boston; 226 in Newton; 214 in Pittsfield; 175 in Worcester; 168 in Springfield; and 167 in Framingham.
Boston Public Schools reported 376 student cases and 59 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.