Emerson up to 21 positive tests in first two weeks of testing


Photo: Hongyu Liu

A sign of the COVID testing site of Emerson College and Tufts University.

By Frankie Rowley, Content Managing Editor

Through just over two weeks of fall semester COVID-19 testing, Emerson has reported 21 positive COVID-19 tests despite sky-high vaccination rates amongst community members. 

More than half of the positives — 13 of the 21 reported thus far — came in the past week, which brought the resumption of in-person classes and on-campus activities. That figure alone would’ve been the second-highest total racked up in a week of testing last fall. To this point a year ago, Emerson had reported 10 positive tests. 

The college’s positivity rate sits at .25 percent, and six community members are currently in isolation on campus. 

No new data was available Tuesday due to the Labor Day holiday. 

The uptick in positive tests comes amid a resurgence in the virus nationwide fueled by the spread of the Delta variant. Over the last seven days, Massachusetts has averaged 1511 cases per day. This time last year, the state’s seven day average sat at 323 cases per day. 

Despite the relatively high numbers, administrators remain confident in their decision to roll back last year’s extensive COVID-19 regulations and have yet to announce a deviation from their plan to drop a mask-mandate for on-campus activities on Sept. 17. 

Other area schools are also seeing relatively high numbers of positive COVID-19 tests amongst community members Harvard has reported a total of 105 positive tests within the last seven days while Boston University reported 45 positive tests within that time period. 

Emerson’s dashboard is updated daily Monday through Friday. When it was first launched last 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. Invalid results are typically a result of user error and require re-testing.