BOSTON (AP) — The number of COVID-19 infections in Massachusetts schools is growing but a school official insists that schools are “very safe.”

A report shows 801 new coronavirus cases among students and 244 among school staffers for the week that ended Wednesday. Combined, that’s the largest number this academic year, and it comes just days before elementary schools return to full-time, in-person learning on Monday.

But the rising rates among student and staff don’t mean schools are where the disease is being transmitted: Cases are also surging in the general population.

Russell Johnston, senior associate commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, told the Boston Globe that coronavirus transmission among public school children is largely happening outside classrooms, at family events, after-school activities and sports games.

“The school numbers going up does not mean that schools are not safe. In fact, schools are very safe,” he said.