COVID cases in public schools have finally dropped to pre-November levels.

In addition to the switch to at-home tests, Governor Charlie Baker announced a repeal of the state-wide mask mandate in all public schools. Districts are free to make their own decisions to continue to require masks or make them optional for students and staff. Don’t forget to check out our running list of the COVID-19 policies.

It is only February, but it looks like we might avoid hitting 1,000,000 reported cases of COVID-19 among schools for 2021-22. We are sitting at just over 21% of all students being reported with COVID-19 this year. That also means more than 20% of students have missed 5-10 days of school due to COVID-19 alone.

Number of MA Students  911,465
Positive Student Cases to Date197,202 (21.4%)

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.

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