1,717 new cases of coronavirus reported in Massachusetts schools last week

Coronavirus case rates continue to drop across the Bay State, as education officials Thursday reported a total of 1,717 staff and students who tested positive for COVID-19 during the week last.

While the total of 1,717 staff and students is a bit higher than the previous weekly average of 1,542 infections after the week of school holidays, the positivity rate continued to drop in the past week.

The report released by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education on Thursday shows that 1,345 students and 372 staff members tested positive for coronavirus from March 3 to Wednesday.

The mask mandate for K-12 schools was lifted in late February as most districts made wearing masks optional. Boston Public Schools continue to require masks at this time.

Coronavirus pool tests are being used in more than 2,200 public and private schools, about double the number from last year, according to DESE. The school test positivity rate in this report was 0.95%, compared to 1.57% in the last report.

Districts with the most cases over the past week include: 38 in Lexington; 38 in North Attleboro; 37 cases in Boston; 28 in Springfield; 27 in Worcester; 27 to Newton; and 26 in Hopkinton.

Boston Public Schools reported 26 student cases and 11 staff cases over the past week.

With no distance learning options allowed this year, all children are back in school full-time in person. At all grade levels, approximately 920,000 students and 140,000 staff now participate in some form of in-person learning.

DESE’s weekly report includes the number of positive COVID-19 cases reported to DESE by school districts, including charter schools and collaborations.

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