ARLINGTON, MASS. (WHDH) - Some Massachusetts school districts are once again urging students and staff to wear masks while indoors amid a recent rise in new COVID-19 cases.

In a letter to the school community, Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth C. Homan “strongly” recommended mask-wearing, except while eating or drinking.

Homan noted that the recommendation comes after the CDC designated Middlesex County as being high risk for virus transmission. New cases across the district also reached 159 last week, the highest count since early in the Omicron surge.

School officials in Belmont and Cambridge have also recommended a return to indoor mask-wearing, the Boston Globe reported.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced more than 8,000 new COVID-19 cases among students and more than 2,500 cases among staff last week.

Half of the counties in the state now have a high risk for COVID-19 transmission, according to the CDC.

On Monday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported 8,625 new COVID-19 cases.

The state’s seven-day positivity has also increased to 6.77 percent.

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