COVID cases in schools across Mass. drop 60% as classes end – NBC Boston

Cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts schools have been declining in recent weeks, and with the start of summer vacation for many, the drop was particularly steep in Thursday’s report.

The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the numbers Thursday in its weekly COVID-19 report, which covers the period from June 16 to June 22.

During this period, 1,180 students and 524 school employees have tested positive for the coronavirus. These cases represent only 0.13% of the student body and 0.37% of the staff.

This is the fifth consecutive week in which cases have declined. The total of 1,704 is a decrease of about 59.6% from last week’s total of 4,216, although the semester has come to an end in some of the state’s school districts.

The recent downward trend comes after cases began to rise in early March, a trend that continued for about two months after Massachusetts’ decision to lift the statewide school mask mandate. Cases first appeared to be slowing in the report released on May 19, which showed an increase of just 7.3% from the May 12 report – when cases increased by 62.6%.

The peak of school cases this year came on January 13, when 48,414 cases were reported after the holiday season and the omicron surge.

The total number of positive COVID-19 cases reported by DESE takes into account school districts (including charter schools), collaborations, and approved special education schools. The data represents only what has been reported to the state.

The state had stopped publicly releasing school data in mid-June as school ended and cases dwindled. The assessment of June 16, 2021 reported only 53 new cases among students and 5 among school staff.

Parents of children under 5 are weighing their options now that Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID vaccines have been approved for them.

Statewide on Thursday, Massachusetts health officials reported 1,700 new cases of COVID-19 and six new deaths.

In total, there have been 1,755,678 cases and 19,657 deaths since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The state reported 459 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Thursday’s data release, with 143, or 31%, being primary cases. Of the total hospitalizations, 33 are in intensive care and 17 are intubated.

Massachusetts’ COVID metrics, tracked on the Public Health Department’s interactive coronavirus dashboard, have declined after a springtime bump.

The state’s seven-day average positivity was 5.53% on Thursday compared to 5.52% on Wednesday.

Nearly 15 million doses of the vaccine have now been administered in Massachusetts.

As of Thursday, health officials reported that a total of 5,403,357 Massachusetts residents had been fully vaccinated.

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