Massachusetts coronavirus cases fall below 2,000


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 1,967 new coronavirus cases Monday, a slight dip from the 2,076 infections reported Sunday. The number of deaths fell from 33 to 12. 

New infections have steadily risen in the state since mid-September. Case numbers dipped below 2,000 for the first time in a week Monday. 

Single day case totals hit highs not seen since the virus’s peak in late April last week. Friday’s total of 2,674 is the third-highest number of cases reported in a single day since the pandemic first struck the state in March. 

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 3.17 percent. 

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 are currently surging. On Monday, the state reported 781 total hospitalizations, compared to 324 last month.

Emerson reported no new positive COVID-19 test results Monday out of 866 new tests administered on Nov. 12 and 13, leaving the college’s cumulative positive tests since Aug. 6 at 32. Emerson’s cumulative testing total sits at 43,696.

The new data was reported at 12:11 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.