The number of new COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts schools has spiked significantly, with 17,423 students and staff members testing positive in the past week.
The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the numbers Thursday in its weekly COVID-19 report, which covers May 5-11.
During that time period, 13,380 students and 4,043 school workers tested positive for coronavirus. These cases represent 1.45% of students and 2.89% of employees.
The total cases represented a 62.6% increase from last week’s report, when 10,715 cases were confirmed in schools, including 8,079 students and 2,636 staff members.
New COVID cases increased during the holiday season and omicron surge, but began to decline after Jan. 13, when 48,414 were reported. However, since early March, cases have been on the rise again.
The Massachusetts statewide school mask mandate was lifted at the end of February, leaving each district to decide for itself whether face coverings would be required.