ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The City School District of Albany is strongly recommending students and staff wear masks inside school buildings. The district said it has seen a significant increase in the number of positive COVID cases among students and staff.

Officials said the district has reported 72 cases of COVID-19 in the past seven days compared to 47 cases during the first 20 days of April. They said this was the highest number of cases in a seven-day period since the pandemic started.

Wearing masks indoors remains optional in New York State; however, Albany County recently announced that it is recommending all residents, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks in indoors due to an increasing number of COVID cases.