Massachusetts coronavirus cases soar past 2,000 again


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 2,263 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, up from the 1,967 infections reported Monday. The number of deaths rose from 12 to 20. 

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

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 hit 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 with higher education testing removed sits at 5.30 percent, up from 4.42 percent a week ago. 

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 are currently surging. On Tuesday, the state reported 835 total hospitalizations, compared to 324 this time last month.

Emerson reported no new positive COVID-19 test results Tuesday out of just 14 new tests administered on Nov. 16, leaving the college’s cumulative positive tests since Aug. 6 at 32. Emerson’s cumulative testing total sits at 43,710.

The new data was reported at 12:10 p.m.

The low number of single-day tests is likely due to a delay in processing tests at the Broad Institute, the facility responsible for facilitating testing for Emerson and other area schools. 

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”.