Emerson reports 5 new positive COVID-19 tests, bringing spring semester total to 156

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

Photo: Hongyu Liu

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

By Frankie Rowley, Assistant News Editor

Emerson reported 5 new positive COVID-19 tests Monday out of the 912 tests administered Friday, bringing the total number of positives over the spring semester to 156 following a two-week unprecedented spike in cases and a two-week positivity rate of .44 percent. 

51 positive tests have been reported since March 29. Currently, 21 community members are housed in on-campus isolation and 29 are in on-campus quarantine in the Paramount residence hall, Emerson’s designated on-campus quarantine and isolation building. 81 students were reported in Paramount on Friday. On March 30, one community member was in isolation on campus, and three were in quarantine. 

The college instituted a series of measures aimed at curbing the spread on April 7, after 36 positives were reported over the week prior. Students have been placed on a soft quarantine since last Wednesday through at least this Wednesday, meaning they are not allowed to leave their designated residences except to go to work, get food or exercise, or to go to class or Emerson’s testing site at Tufts Medical Center. All non-academic activities have been suspended, though in-person classes have continued. 

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. 

Results from Friday bring last week’s cumulative positive tests at 25, the second-highest number of the single week positive tests reported thus far. Of the cumulative 216 positive COVID tests over the fall and spring semesters, 72 percent have been reported during the spring semester. 

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The college’s cumulative positivity rate sits at .24 percent, a number that has fluctuated over the past two weeks after falling to .19 percent on March 29.