Massachusetts cases continue surge, Emerson reports one new positive

Emerson%27s+testing+site+is+located+at+a+Tufts+Medical+Center+facility+on+the+corner+of+Harrison+Ave.+and+Kneeland+St.

Media: 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

Massachusetts reported 2,495 new coronavirus cases Tuesday. The total rose sharply from 2,047 new cases reported Monday. The number of deaths rose from 21 to 37. 

New infections have steadily risen in the state since mid-September. Case numbers have now topped 2,000 four of the last six days, numbers last seen at the virus’s peak in the state in late April.  The seven day average of new daily infections sits at 1,809.

The state recently changed the way it reports COVID-19 positivity rates, separating higher education testing into its own category. The state’s test positivity rate, the number of positive test results received out of total tests administered, currently sits at 4.95 percent, up from 3.78 percent last week.

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 are currently surging. On Wednesday, the state reported 659 total hospitalizations, compared to 324 last month.

Emerson reported one new positive COVID-19 test result Tuesday out of just 74 new tests administered on Nov. 9, leaving the college’s cumulative positive tests since Aug. 6 at 30. Emerson’s cumulative testing total sits at 41,109.

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

The college’s testing center at a Tufts Medical Center facility will remain open on Veterans Day, despite the national holiday. 

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 Erik 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.