By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — February school vacation week is just around the corner for many Massachusetts schools. And that could be a problem for districts that are trying to keep kids in classrooms amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Jeffrey Riley, commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education included a “vacation reminder” in his most recent weekly update.

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“The Department recognizes that the upcoming February vacation may pose a challenge to districts in their efforts to limit students’ and staff’s exposure to COVID-19,” he wrote.

Last week there were 908 new COVID cases reported among students and staff, down from a high of 1,009 in November.

Riley said school leaders are encouraged to remind students and staff about best coronavirus safety practices.

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“These include limiting the size of any gathering, limiting get-togethers to only people who live together or to a small group of individuals with whom they are regularly in contact, and avoiding travel,” he said.

Those who do travel should “abide by Massachusetts travel orders,” which currently require a quarantine period or negative test when returning from anywhere outside of the state besides Hawaii.

There are an estimated 55,659 active COVID cases in Massachusetts. The seven-day weighted average of positive tests has dropped to under 3%.

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