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As COVID Cases Rise In Schools, Parents, Health Officials Aren't Worried

BRAINTREE (CBS) – Braintree is one of the school districts with the highest number of coronavirus cases among students in the state. However, city officials say most of the cases can't be traced back to the classroom.

The number of coronavirus cases in Massachusetts schools has gone up for the second week in a row.

"I am not nervous. I feel like if the kids are wearing their masks and doing what they are supposed to do, I think they'll be safe," said parent Angela Kelly.

Over the last week, 476 students and193 staff across the state have tested positive for COVID-19. That's nearly 150 more positive tests than the week before.

Health officials say 26 Braintree students tested positive, but most of the cases can be traced back to a recent youth cheerleading training facility in Weymouth.

"Our health department and all the health departments associated with this cluster are working day and night to make sure they identify the close contacts and the positive cases so they can protect the other kids," Braintree Mayor Charles Kokoros said.

Dr. Shira Doron, of Tufts Medical Center, said the more school districts participate in pool testing, the more positive cases that will be reported.

"You will always see more cases when you do more testing. That's the nature of this disease that has such an enormous proportion of its cases being asymptomatic, and does not necessarily have any bearing on nor does it reflect danger in the building."

Elementary schools in Massachusetts are supposed to have full-time, in-person instruction five days a week beginning Monday, April 5. Middle schools will have to do the same by Wednesday, April 28. A date has not been set for high schools.

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