Massachusetts reports 1,103 new coronavirus cases


Photo: State House News Service

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

By Frankie Rowley, Content Managing Editor

Massachusetts reported 1,103 new coronavirus cases Monday, a decline from the 1,678 new infections reported Sunday. The death toll rose by 27. 

Cases in the state have steadily declined over the past two months, reaching lows last seen in late October, following a spike after the winter holidays.

The state reports two COVID-19 positivity rates—one with higher education testing and one without. On Monday, the seven-day test positivity rate with higher education removed sat at 3.4 percent, up from 3.0 percent reported this time last week. The rate that includes higher education sits at 2.0 percent. 

The state reported 603 total hospitalizations Monday, down slightly from the 624 reported this time last week. Hospitalizations have declined substantially over the course of the past month after they spiked amid the state’s wintertime surge.

Massachusetts reported 32,582 vaccinations administered on Saturday, bringing the state’s total to 2,952,347. About 16 percent of the state’s population is fully inoculated against COVID-19—meaning they have received both doses of the vaccines manufactured by Moderna or Pfizer, or one dose of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine.   

Emerson reported no new positive COVID-19 tests on Monday out of the 934 tests administered on Friday, keeping the spring semester’s total at 102—a 68 percent increase from the fall semester. The cumulative positivity rate sits at 0.22 percent, a number which continues to decline. 

Monday’s dashboard reported no data for community members in isolation or quarantine, along with updated numbers on the college’s positivity rate, the total number of tests this semester, throughout the past week and respective positivity rate. These numbers are typically updated daily. 

On Friday, two community members were reported to be in isolation on campus and one in quarantine on campus. 

Those in quarantine may have been exposed to COVID-19 but aren’t experiencing symptoms. Those in isolation are symptomatic, have produced a positive test, or are “reasonably known to be infected,” according to the college. Off-campus students are not counted in the quarantine and isolation numbers. 

Emerson 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. 

The college’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 said in August 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 “COVID Lead” Erik Muurisepp. 

The dashboard is not updated on weekends because Emerson’s testing site at Tufts Medical Center is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.