DESE: 63 students, 34 staff members test positive for COVID-19 in Mass. schools during the first full week

DESE: 63 students, 34 staff members test positive for COVID-19 in Mass. schools during the first full week

The state Department of Education has new numbers on the case of positive coronavirus test in students and staff.

A total of 63 students in 41 different districts, education collaboratives, and special education schools tested positive for the coronavirus in this one week period.

Thirty-four staff members in 21 different school districts and three special-ed schools tested positive.

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The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Governor Baker have been strongly urging schools to move to an in-person or hybrid model saying -- the science says it’s safe.

Teachers are not convinced, many telling me despite hundreds of millions in state and federal funding they don’t have access to the necessary PPE, technology support, and proper ventilation in their school buildings.

And winter is coming. Windows will be closed.

Massachusetts Teachers Association President Merrie Najimy says despite hundreds of millions in state and federal funding educators don’t have access to the necessary PPE, technology support, and proper ventilation in their school buildings.

“It’s 97 cases in the first week of school and it’s contributing to the rise of cases across the state. And the cases in school have been widespread. It is too early to feel that we can go back to normal," said Najimy.

“We think at this time it is appropriate to get kids back in school to the greatest extent possible unless the transmission rate is very high in your particular community," said Commissioner Jeff Riley, MA Dept of Elementary and Secondary Education. “We are confident that districts were able to open on time. I think it’s important we gave them ten additional days to train so they could be ready in the beginning of the year on the three models. We asked districts to be ready for remote instruction, in case there was a second spike and hybrid instruction and in-person instruction."

Some students in Boston went back to school under the hybrid model this week.

Boston Teachers Union President Jessica Tang says she’s very concerned about the recent spike in cases in the city and the effect it will have on infection rates after this one week period the report focuses on.