COVID cases in mass schools fall 60% as classes shut down – NBC Boston

COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts schools have been falling in recent weeks, and as summer vacation began for many, the drop in Thursday’s report was particularly sharp.

The state’s Department of Primary and Secondary Education released the numbers Thursday in its weekly COVID-19 report, which covers June 16-22.

During that period, 1,180 students and 524 school staff tested positive for the coronavirus. These cases represent only 0.13% of the student body and 0.37% of the staff.

This is the fifth straight week cases have declined. The total of 1,704 is down about 59.6% from last week’s total of 4,216, even as the semester ended in some school districts across the state.

The latest downward trend comes after cases began to rise in early March, a pattern that continued for about two months after Massachusetts’ decision to lift the statewide school mask mandate. Cases first appeared to be slowing in the report released on May 19, which showed a rise of just 7.3% from the May 12 report – when cases rose by 62.6%.

The peak of school cases this year was on January 13, when 48,414 were reported after the holiday season and the Omicron surge.

The total number of positive COVID-19 cases reported by DESE includes school districts (including charter schools), compound schools, and approved special schools. The data represents only what has been reported to the state.

The state had stopped reporting school dates publicly in mid-June as the school closed and cases fell. The June 16, 2021 report contained only 53 new cases among students and 5 among school staff.

Parents of children under 5 are weighing their options after Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID vaccines were approved for them.

Statewide, Massachusetts health officials reported 1,700 new COVID-19 cases and six new deaths Thursday.

In total, there have been 1,755,678 cases and 19,657 deaths since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The state reported 459 people hospitalized for COVID-19 at the time of data release Thursday, with 143, or 31%, being primary cases. Of the total hospital admissions, 33 are in the ICU and 17 are intubated.

Massachusetts’ COVID metrics, which are being tracked on the Department of Health’s interactive coronavirus dashboard, are back in decline after a spring spurt.

The state’s average seven-day positivity was 5.53% on Thursday, compared to 5.52% on Wednesday.

Nearly 15 million doses of vaccine have now been administered in Massachusetts.

Health officials reported Thursday that a total of 5,403,357 Massachusetts residents were fully vaccinated.

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