17,423 cases. The weather may feel like August but COVID cases numbers look more like December in Massachusetts public schools.

Is your school or community impacted by the staffing absences for COVID-related reasons? We are getting reports of schools needing to close for the day, close early or substantially restructure their school days to safely welcome students into school buildings while short staffed.

Parents scrambling for summer childcare and educators managing their own households don’t yet know if the Commissioner will require districts to make up lost time for COVID-related closures (allowed under 603 CMR 27.00). Schools and PTOs are worried about deposits for field trips and end of year events that are now less-certain with limited bus driver availability and staffing crunches. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is no longer sharing messages to district superintendents with the general public so we are as much in the dark as families.

Number of MA Students  911,465
Positive Student Cases to Date241,523 (26.3 %)

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.

Don’t forget to check out our running list of the COVID-19 policies. You have not likely missed much. DESE has not provided any COVID-19 updates since March 9, 2022.

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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