COVID-19 In Schools – Dec 2, 2021

Nearly 1% of Massachusetts public school students were reported as testing positive between the November 18 and December 2 reporting windows. An estimated 3% of all students have tested positive for COVID-19 in the 2021-22 school year already.

8,513 students and 1,396 staff members will be absent from school for 10 days. This also means nearly 10,000 households have at lease one member who must isolate following a positive test.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is preparing for a surge in cases in districts. A December 2 webinar (slides and recording available here) indicated that that DESE is preparing multiple options including continued support from the Massachusetts National Guard to ensure testing programs can continue.

For close contacts, individuals who have no symptoms and are fully vaccinated, there is no mandatory quarantine or daily testing. However, individuals who are close contacts may want to participate in testing to ensure early detection ahead of the holiday celebrations.

For students and staff who are absent from school due to a positive COVID-19 test, there are no recent updates from DESE on remote teaching and learning options for individual students, whole class groups or entire school populations.

Number of MA Students  911,465
Positive Student Cases to Date28,934 (3.0%)

Student Count: Number of reported positive cases for students who are enrolled in the school.
Staff Count: Number of reported positive cases for district staff members employed by the school district.

If a school has concerns over a spike in cases within a classroom, grade, or a school, districts and schools must notify their local board of health and must call the DESE Rapid Response Help Center at 781-338-3500.

DESE FAQ Week of November 15, 2021

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education weekly reports are available here.

You can explore the DESE guidance for school-based testing, vaccines and safety policies for public and private schools here.

Curious about more statewide COVID-19 data? The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has a comprehensive interactive dashboard with community level data on testing, hospitalizations and COVID-19 Variants. You can visit their dashboard here.