For the eighth consecutive reporting week, Massachusetts public schools have seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases among students and staff.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on Thursday reported total cases among students and staff climbed nearly 63 percent more than those reported last week, to 13,380 new cases among students and 4,043 among staff for the week that ended Wednesday.
COVID-19 related hospitalizations also increased this week among those under age 20, the highest number of hospitalizations among children in the 11 and under age group.
The rise in school cases since mid-March has prompted some districts to reassess their mask policies. Earlier this week, Northampton Public Schools announced it’s reinstating its mask mandate through May 20 due to cases increasing in the district.
School leaders in Arlington, Belmont, and Cambridge didn’t reinstate a mask mandate, but urged students to wear masks indoors after the CDC classified Middlesex County as having a high level of COVID-19 transmission.
Here’s other data highlights from this week’s school coronavirus report and reported state data:
Percentage of positive students: 1.45
Percentage of positive staff members: 2.89
Number of participating schools: 1,735
Number of pooled tests: 35,786
Pooled test positivity rate: 3.67%
District with the highest number of cases:
Number of active K-12 school clusters: 4
Cases among children (from April 24 to May 9):
- From birth to age 4: 2,291
- 5 to 9 years old: 2,163
- 10 to 14 years old: 2,147
- 15 to 19 year old: 3,093
Hospitalizations among people under age 20: 73
Deaths among people under age 20: 0