Emerson reports four new positives, 20 in last two weeks


Diti Kohli

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

By Charlie McKenna

Emerson reported four new positive test results Wednesday out of 784 new tests administered on Nov. 24 and 25, bringing the college’s cumulative positive tests to 52. Emerson’s cumulative testing total sits at 49,719. 

The college’s test results have come in irregular batches over the last week, likely a product of ongoing delays at the Broad Institute, which provides and processes testing for Emerson and other area universities. 

Emerson has now reported 20 new positive tests since the beginning of last week—the previous high for a two week period was eight. The 4,080 tests administered last week is the highest number of tests in a single week since community members returned to campus in late August. The college’s weekly positivity rate sits at .39 percent, the highest number reported this semester. 

The college 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. 

Emerson’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 have said 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.