Massachusetts cases continue rise, Emerson reports one new positive


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

Massachusetts reported 2,674 new coronavirus cases Friday, the third-highest single day case total since the pandemic began ravaging the state in March.

Total cases rose from 2,482 new infections reported Thursday. The number of deaths rose from 21 to 23. The state’s seven day average of new daily cases sits at 2,127. 

New infections have steadily risen in the state since mid-September. Case numbers have now topped 2,000 six times in eight days, numbers last seen at the virus’s peak in the state in late April. 

The state recently changed the way it reports COVID-19 positivity rates, separating higher education testing into its own category. The state’s seven-day test positivity rate sits at 3.12 percent. 

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 are currently surging. On Friday, the state reported 687 total hospitalizations, compared to 324 last month.

Emerson reported one new positive COVID-19 test result Friday out of 767 new tests administered on Nov. 11 and 12, leaving the college’s cumulative positive tests since Aug. 6 at 32. Emerson’s cumulative testing total sits at 42,830.

The new data was reported at 12:07 p.m.

The college shifted from a manual data reporting process to an automatic one on Oct. 13. The decision followed a Beacon investigation that 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 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 have said 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 Assistant Vice President for Campus Life 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.