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Mass. reports 476 new coronavirus cases among public school students, 193 among school staff members

A total of 7,995 cases among students and 5,130 among staff members have been reported to the state since Sept. 24

A Fall River kindergarten teacher used her Bitmoji to spread awareness about COVID-19 on the door of her classroom asking students to "Spread Hope, Not Germs!" at Mary L. Fonseca Elementary School.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Local school officials in Massachusetts reported to the state 476 new coronavirus cases among students and 193 among school staff members for the week that ended Wednesday.

The combined total of new cases — 669 — was the highest weekly total since early February. Officials estimate that about 450,000 students across the state are attending some form of in-person learning, and about 75,000 staff members are working in buildings.

Cases are only reported among students who are attending in-person school; cases among students in a fully remote learning model are not being tracked by the state. Cases among staff members are only being reported if the employee was inside a school building within the seven days prior to the reported case.


Among the highest number of cases reported in a single school or district for the week ending Wednesday, Braintree Public Schools reported 26 cases among students, Brockton Public Schools reported 4 cases among students and 16 among staff members, and Quincy Public Schools reported 11 cases among students and five among staff members.

The latest figures, released Thursday, include any cases reported to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education between March 11 and 17. State education officials are not tracking when the cases occur, only when local school officials report them to the state.

Starting the week that ended Oct. 21, local school districts are required to report their coronavirus cases to state education officials. The first three reports released by the state did not require districts to report their cases.

Combined, a total of 7,995 cases among students and 5,130 among staff members have been reported to the state.

Schools have not appeared to be superspreading locations for the coronavirus, state leaders have repeatedly said this fall, though they said in early December they had identified at least 75 clusters. They believe about half of those clusters could have been linked to in-school transmission.