Public Schools

Mass. reports 571 new coronavirus cases among public school students, 323 among school staff members

Written by Mamie M. Arndt

Local school officials reported to the state 571 new coronavirus cases among students and 323 among school staff members for the week that ended Wednesday.



a group of people sitting at a table: A third grade classroom at the Bentley Academy Innovation School in Salem on Thursday.


© Nicolaus Czarnecki/Pool
A third grade classroom at the Bentley Academy Innovation School in Salem on Thursday.

State 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, the Boston Higashi School in Randolph reported 18 cases among students and 17 among staff members, Winchester Public Schools reported 25 cases among students, and Hanover Public Schools reported 18 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 Jan. 28 and Feb. 3. 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 5,964 cases among students and 4,237 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.

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About the author

Mamie M. Arndt