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9,909 At Massachusetts Schools Test Positive For COVID-19 In Last 2 Weeks

BOSTON (CBS) – There were 9,909 coronavirus cases among students and staff in Massachusetts schools in the last two weeks, according to the latest data from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Schools reported 8,513 cases among students and 1,396 among staff between November 18 to December 1. The overall percentage of kids who tested positive during this time frame was 0.93%, while 1.0% of staff tested positive.

Due to Thanksgiving, case numbers from the week of November 18-24 were released Thursday along with numbers from November 25-December 1.

Here were the case numbers in the previous weeks between students and staff across the Commonwealth:

  • November 11-17: 3,815 cases (3,257 kids, 558 staff)
  • November 4-10: 3,021 cases (2,640 kids, 381 staff)
  • October 29-November 3: 3,963 cases (3,381 kids, 582 staff)

The state estimates there are about 920,000 students in classrooms in Massachusetts public schools and 140,000 staff working in-person this school year.

Many schools have started sending notices to parents warning them about a surge in cases following Thanksgiving, including in Wilmington where 40 students have tested positive this week, most of them in elementary school.

Melrose parent Felicity Shields has two kids in elementary school. Both had COVID a year ago and she's hoping they can stay healthy as they wait one more week for their second shots.

"I'm just hanging onto the whole house will be fully vaccinated by Christmas," Shields said. "My heart bleeds for anyone with kids under the age of five now."

She knows her kids will be OK, but still as a mom -- she worries.

"With a new variant coming out and like I said the anniversary of it hitting my house coming up, my anxiety is up here right now and that's the problem. I'm anxious. I'm miserable," Shields said.

Parents have heard it before, but again, doctors say the vaccines are the best tool available to keep kids in the classroom.

"There's a balance and we're walking that fine line of keeping kids in school, trying to keep them getting their education which is so critical and keeping everyone safe," said Dr. Robyn Riseberg of Boston Community Pediatrics.

For the district breakdown on coronavirus cases, visit the DESE website.

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