Emerson reports no new positive COVID-19 tests, third time this week


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 no new positive COVID-19 tests Thursday out of the 961 tests administered Wednesday, the first time no positives have been reported over a three-day period since March 12 to 14.  

The spring semester’s positive tests total remains at 166, an increase of about 177 percent from the 60 positives reported in the fall semester.

Thursday’s dashboard update also reported one community member in isolation on campus and zero in quarantine on campus, the lowest since March 15. This time last week, 18 community members were reported to be in on-campus isolation and 19 in on-campus quarantine. 

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. 

Massachusetts reported 1,431 new coronavirus cases Thursday, a rise from the 1,370 new infections reported Wednesday. The death toll rose by 17.

Thursday’s total is the second third this week cases have topped 1,000, and Tuesday’s total was the first time cases dropped under 1,000 since March 8. Cases have regularly dipped below 2,000 in the past week, after not clearing that margin from Feb. 12 to Mar. 26. 

The state reports two COVID-19 positivity rates—one with higher education testing and one without. On Thursday, the seven-day test positivity rate with higher education testing removed sat at 3.6 percent, down from the 4.1 percent reported this time last week. The rate that includes higher education sits at 2.0 percent. 

The state reported 645 hospitalizations Thursday, down from the 710 reported this time last week. Hospitalizations are on the decline after slowly rising over the past three weeks. 

On Thursday, Massachusetts reported 94,047 new vaccinations, bringing the state’s total to 5,397,052. Over 31 percent of the state’s population—more than 2 million residents—is now fully inoculated against COVID-19—meaning they have received both doses of the vaccines manufactured by Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

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.