Emerson reports no new positives, uptick in daily tests


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 Charlie McKenna

Emerson reported no new positive COVID-19 test results Wednesday out of 965 tests administered on Oct. 13, leaving the college’s cumulative positive tests since Aug. 6 at 21. Emerson’s cumulative testing total sits at 26,961.

The new data was reported at 12:09 pm.

Wednesday’s daily testing total is abnormally high, as the average sits around 700 tests administered per day. 

Massachusetts reported 518 new cases Wednesday evening, down from 632 new cases on Tuesday. The number of deaths rose from 12 to 16. Cases fell for the second straight day after a spike Monday when the state reported over 700 new cases. 

In a statement, Assistant Vice President for Campus Life Erik Muurisepp told The Beacon that the dashboard will be updated automatically beginning Tuesday. The decision comes after an investigation by Beacon reporters found 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 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 Muurisepp, who serves as the college’s “COVID lead”. 

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.