Massachusetts reports 1,281 new coronavirus cases

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Photo: State House News Service

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

By Frankie Rowley, Assistant News Editor

Massachusetts reported 1,281 new coronavirus cases Sunday, down from the 1,495 new infections reported Saturday. The death toll rose by 41. 

COVID-19 cases have fallen below 2,000 in the state each day for the past three weeks, after topping that mark each day for just over two months.

The state reports two COVID-19 positivity rates—one with higher education testing and one without. On Sunday, the seven-day test positivity rate with higher education removed sat at 2.9 percent, equal to the number reported this time last week. The rate that includes higher education sits at 1.7 percent. 

The state reported 665 total hospitalizations on Sunday, down from the 760 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 48,234 vaccinations administered on Sunday, bringing the state’s total to 2,117,862. Nearly ten 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.    

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Emerson’s most recent dashboard update revealed two more positive COVID-19 tests, pushing the spring semester’s total to 91. 

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.

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