Emerson reports no new positives, testing number discrepancies


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 no new positive COVID-19 tests results Thursday out of 809 total tests, leaving the college’s cumulative positive tests since Aug. 6 at 18. Emerson’s cumulative testing total sits at 21,281.

The new data was reported at 2:14pm.

The dashboard’s daily testing table shows two sets of tests administered on Sept. 29. The table first lists 809 tests for Sept. 29, and 636 for the same day right below that number. Typically, the table shows a day by day breakdown and doesn’t repeat. 

The college originally reported 235 new tests administered on the 29th 

Positive tests among community members have been climbing in recent days as the college reported five between Sept. 21 and 27. That total ties the single highest number of positive tests in any week since testing began. 

Massachusetts reported 708 new positive cases along with 23 new deaths Thursday night, up from 510 new cases and 32 deaths on Wednesday. The jump in cases from Wednesday to Thursday is the state’s largest single day jump since May.

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 been removed from the dashboard since 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 an effort to increase transparency as the college said 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, administrators have said.