Emerson reports 27 new positive COVID-19 tests on Wednesday; 49 active cases among community members


Hongyu Liu

A sign of the COVID testing site of Emerson College and Tufts University.

By Charlie McKenna

Emerson reported 27 new positive COVID-19 tests on Wednesday, the same day college officials announced 49 active cases amongst the Emerson community.

The unprecedented surge comes as statewide cases have skyrocketed to levels not seen since last winter–when almost no Massachusetts residents were vaccinated against COVID-19. Also on Wednesday, the Boston Public Health Commission announced that the Omicron variant of the virus had been detected in three “young adults” in Boston.

The 27 positive tests reported Wednesday came from 828 tests administered on Dec. 14—a 3.26 percent positivity rate, and by far the highest single-day total to date. On Tuesday, Emerson reported seven new positive tests, which bring the weekly total up to 34 across just two days of testing. Emerson had never eclipsed 26 positive tests in a single week of testing before Wednesday.

Emerson officials, in an email sent to the community Wednesday, said the contact tracing process was underway, and a number of cases had been tracked to a cluster resulting from social interaction. A number of Beacon staff members have tested positive as a result of said cluster.

“The contact tracing process is working and we are reaching out to all those identified as close contacts, and as of this message, we are aware of only one cluster of related cases, which resulted from social interactions,” wrote “COVID Lead” and Associate Vice President for Campus Life Erik Muurisepp. “We remain pleased that there has yet to be any confirmed classroom transmission to date.”