Emerson reports 4 positive COVID-19 tests, bringing semester total to 89


Photo: Diti Kohli

Emerson’s testing site is located at a Tufts Medical Center facility on the corner of Harrison Ave. and Kneeland St.

By Frankie Rowley, Content Managing Editor

Emerson reported four new positive COVID-19 tests out of 2,098 tests administered on March 2 and 3 on Thursday, bringing the college’s cumulative positive tests to 149. Emerson’s cumulative testing total sits at 84,673.

The college is seeing a decline in the number of positive test results being reported each week. Last week marked just the second during the spring semester the number of positives fell below double digits. 

Since testing resumed on Jan. 11, the college has reported 89 positive tests—topping the 60 reported over the entire fall semester—and a positivity rate of .26 percent. 

Thursday’s dashboard update also reported zero community members in isolation on campus and two in quarantine on campus. 

Those in quarantine may have been exposed to COVID-19 but aren’t experiencing symptoms. Those in isolation are symptomatic, have produced a positive test, or are “reasonably known to be infected,” according to the college. Off-campus students are not counted in the quarantine and isolation numbers. 

The college announced on Thursday that it would be partnering with a new vendor for card tap processing at Tufts Medical Center due to consistent failures with the SnapLogic system. 

Massachusetts reported 1,410 new coronavirus cases Thursday, a decline from the 1,553 new infections reported Wednesday. The death toll rose by 42. 

COVID-19 cases have fallen below 2,000 in the state each day for the past three weeks, after topping that mark each day from Nov. 30 to Feb. 2.

Massachusetts reported 62,433 vaccinations administered on Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 1,931,280.  

Due to technical issues with the Tableau hosting platform, which is used by the state for their interactive COVID-19 dashboard, access to today’s results were intermittent. Due to these issues, today’s dashboard update does not include the daily number of hospitalizations or the two positivity rates reported by the state.

Emerson shifted from a manual data reporting process to an automatic one on Oct. 13. The decision followed a Beacon investigation that revealed a string of inaccuracies in the data reported by the college. 

The college’s dashboard is updated daily Monday through Friday. When it was first launched in August, the college opted for weekly updates before eventually shifting to twice weekly and then daily updates. Tabs for hospitalizations and the number of “invalid” results received by community members have since been removed from the dashboard after testing began in August. Invalid results are typically a result of user error and require re-testing. 

Administrators said in August the decision to remove hospitalizations was part of an effort to increase transparency, as the college was concerned it could not accurately track the metric. Invalid results were deemed “not valuable” data by “COVID Lead” Erik Muurisepp. 

The dashboard is not updated on weekends because Emerson’s testing site at Tufts Medical Center is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.