Massachusetts cases top 1,000 for seventh straight day


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 Thursday out of 194 new tests administered on Oct. 29, leaving the college’s cumulative positive tests since Aug. 6 at 26. Emerson’s cumulative testing total sits at 35,418.

The new data was reported at 12:10 pm. 

The low number of single day tests could be a result of a delay in data reporting from the Broad Institute, the center responsible for processing tests from Emerson and other local universities. 

Massachusetts reported 1,488 new coronavirus cases Thursday. The total was up from 1,243 new cases reported Wednesday. The number of deaths fell from 27 to 23. New infections continue to rise in the state—cases numbers have now broken 1,000 every day for a week, a mark last hit in early May, when infections were declining steadily from the virus’ initial peak in April. 

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.