978 coronavirus cases reported in Massachusetts schools in past week as more students return | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools

A total of 978 staff and students in Massachusetts schools and 43 in Boston alone have tested positive for coronavirus in the past week as more students and staff return to the classroom, according to data from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The weekly report published on Thursdays shows 821 students and 157 staff tested positive for the coronavirus from April 1, to Wednesday, according to DESE.

This week’s count represents a decrease of 67 from last week’s record-high total of 1,045 cases.

Districts with the most cases in the past two weeks include 43 cases in Boston, 31 cases in Worcester, 21 cases in Framingham, 20 in Pittsfield,

Boston Public Schools, which will reopen for full in-person learning for elementary and middle school kids on April 26 has reported a total of 336 cases so far this year, with the most occurring in BPS administrative buildings. The DESE report report for this week shows 12 staff and 31 student cases in BPS.

On April 5, per state mandate, all elementary schools except those with a waiver returned to full in-person learning and more than 300,000 students now have the opportunity to be back in the classroom, according to DESE.

Across all grade levels, an estimated 610,000 students and 115,000 staff are now participating in some form of in-person learning.

Educators have been eligible for vaccination since March 11 and coronavirus pool testing is also being used in many districts. From April 1 to April 7, less than 0.5% of students and staff reported a positive coronavirus test.

Since the beginning of the school year, which kicked off 26 weeks ago, a total of 16,881 cases have been reported in Massachusetts schools, according to DESE.

There are an estimated 610,000 students in public school buildings and 115,000 staff across the state.

The report includes the number of positive COVID-19 cases as reported to DESE by school districts including charter schools and collaboratives.

The number of positive cases for students includes those engaged in hybrid or in-person learning models, not remote.

Reported positive staff cases include those who have been in a district building within the seven days prior to the report of the positive case.

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