State education leaders released their latest tally of COVID-19 cases on Friday as reported student cases rose to 2,640 statewide and human resources grew to 381 for the week-end ending Wednesday.
The total number of reported student cases has increased by 761 in the last report. Last week, for the week-long period ending Nov. 3, the state reported 1,879 cases among students and 339 cases among staff.
The increase comes as experts report evidence of a seasonal wave from the virus, and as some schools are coping with an increasing number of cases.
School officials in Boston this week announced a 10-day closure of the Curley K-8 School in Jamaica Plain after nearly four dozen COVID cases were reported. An Andover elementary school also saw a cluster of cases, according to the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, which reported that two dozen South Elementary students had tested positive as of Nov. 8.
The overall number of cases remains very low. In the most recent report, only 0.29 percent of all students tested positive for the virus, up from 0.20 last week. About 920,000 students across the state attend school in person and about 140,000 staff members work in school buildings.
Boston had the most student cases in the period, 139, while Springfield had 90, Lowell 48 and Lawrence 45. Taunton also had 48, Winchendon 42 and Wakefield 40.
Weekly reports of coronavirus cases among staff and students this school year have consistently surpassed last year’s numbers as significantly more students attend school in person and more than twice as many schools have signed up to state-provided COVID-19 testing services .
About 1,000 schools participated last year, compared to more than 2,200 that signed up to participate this year. It’s not clear how many schools are actively participating in testing programs, but 2,110 have reported testing data so far.
The state also reported on Friday the results of testing for COVID-19 at participating schools. For the period between November 1 and November 7, 1,542 schools conducted tests, with a pool positivity rate of 1.09 percent. The pool positivity rate was 0.82 percent the week before.
Massachusetts school districts are required to report positive cases among students and employees to the state.
Children between the ages of 5 and 11 are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines, a development that school officials hope will help contain the spread of the virus in the coming weeks as holiday gatherings and more time indoors reduce the risk of a winter rise.
Experts have repeatedly emphasized that for most children, COVID-19 does not cause serious illness. In the past two weeks, the state has reported no COVID-19 deaths of anyone under the age of 20.