The Mississippi State Department of Health is releasing weekly data on coronavirus infections in schools.

This data is variable because it’s self-reported and the number of schools that report varies from week to week. As of March 2, data provided by MSDH shows a total of at least 5,304 teachers, students and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in 2021.

Recent weeks in February have lower numbers of infections, though far fewer counties submitted data to MSDH for these weeks. For example, for the week of Feb. 15-19, just 59 of the state’s 82 counties are included.

The number of total teachers, students, and staff to get sick hit its lowest point the week of Sept. 7-11 with 368 school-related infections. Since then, the total number infections in school has risen, though the number of schools that report in a given week varies. 

Numbers appear to have peaked the week of Nov. 30 with 1,752 students, teachers and staff contracting COVID-19. There is no data from the last two weeks of December because schools were on holiday break.

For general COVID-19 Mississippi trends with daily case, death and hospitalization updates, as well as testing data charts and other helpful interactive maps and graphs, click here.

| MORE: COVID-19 daily case data and charts 

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Kayleigh Skinner joined the Mississippi Today team in January 2017 as an education and legislative reporter and advanced to a senior staff member in her four years with the company. Before joining Mississippi Today, Kayleigh worked at The Hechinger Report, Chalkbeat Tennessee, and The Commercial Appeal. She has appeared on MSNBC, NPR, and BBC Newsday Radio to discuss her reporting.

Kelsey Davis Betz is from Mobile, Ala., and currently lives in Cleveland, where she worked as a Mississippi Delta-based reporter covering education and intersecting issues. Kelsey has a dual degree in journalism and Spanish from Auburn University and worked as an editorial intern at Texas Monthly and a courts reporter at the Montgomery Advertiser. She is a 2018 Educating Children in Mississippi Fellow at the Hechinger Report and is a co-founder of the Mississippi Delta Public Newsroom.