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1,009 At Massachusetts Schools Test Positive For COVID-19 In Last Week

BOSTON (CBS) – There have been 1,009 new COVID-19 cases among students and staff in Massachusetts schools in the last week, according to the latest data from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

That's the most in one week since data collection started back in September.

Districts reported 591 cases among students and 418 among staff members in schools between December 10 and December 16.

Schools are not required to report positive cases to the state.

Since September 24th, when the weekly release of data started, 2,978 students and 2,122 staff have tested positive.

Despite the high total of cases, Gov. Charlie Baker said in his press conference on Friday that schools are not the reason for the spread of the virus.

"School is still a much safer place for kids to be than most other places in the community. In fact, the CDC just put out a report it said among kids who've gotten COVID, they were more likely to have been at playdates parties, weddings, or funerals," Baker said. "Those were really the places where the CDC said you primarily saw a lot of these kids who got COVID had been. School was not one of them. In fact, school was on the other end of that calculation."

The weekly report released every Thursday shows the number of positive cases for students who are in hybrid or in-person models. It does not include students in remote-only programs.

Overall, the state estimates there are about 450,000 students and 75,000 staff in Massachusetts public schools.

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

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