Emerson reports two new positives, Massachusetts cases fall slightly


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, Content Managing Editor

Emerson reported two new positive COVID-19 test results Tuesday out of 585 new tests administered on Oct. 20, leaving the college’s cumulative positive tests since Aug. 6 at 24. Emerson’s cumulative testing total sits at 29,880.

The dashboard says the new data was reported at 12:14 p.m. however, no new data was present on the web page until after 1 P.M. 

Massachusetts reported 821 new coronavirus cases Tuesday. The total was down slightly from 827 new cases reported Monday. The number of deaths fell from 15 to five. New infections continue to rise in the state—Monday’s total was the highest single day total since May 24. 

The college shifted from a manual data reporting process to an automatic one on Oct. 13. The decision came after an investigation by Beacon reporters 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 been removed from the dashboard since testing began in August. Invalid results are typically a result of user error and require re-testing. 

Get This Week's News

All the big stories delivered to your inbox every Thursday morning 

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.


Show your support for essential student journalism

News and the truth are under constant attack in our current moment, just when they are needed the most. The Beacon’s quality, fact-based accounting of historic events has never mattered more, and our editorial independence is of paramount importance. We believe journalism is a public good that should be available to all regardless of one’s ability to pay for it. But we can not continue to do this without you. Every little bit, whether big or small, helps fund our vital work — now and in the future.