Massachusetts reports 1,464 new coronavirus cases

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Photo: State House News Service

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker

By Frankie Rowley, Assistant News Editor

Massachusetts reported 1,464 new coronavirus cases Monday, a decline from the 1,817 new infections reported Sunday. The death toll rose by 15. 

Monday’s case total marks the second day in a row cases have been under 2,000 following the three-day period of daily totals surpassing 2,000, a trend that had not been seen since Feb. 12. 

Cases in the state have steadily declined over the past two months and reached 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 4.0 percent, up from 3.4 percent reported this time last week. The rate that includes higher education sits at 2.4 percent. 

The state reported 675 total hospitalizations Monday, up from the 603 reported this time last week. Hospitalizations have slowly begun rising this week after declining substantially over the course of the past month following the spike amid the state’s wintertime surge.

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On Monday, Massachusetts reported 40,114 new vaccinations, bringing the state’s total to 3,409,635. Over 18 percent of the state’s population is now fully inoculated against COVID-19—meaning they have received both doses of the vaccines manufactured by Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.   

Emerson reported no new positive COVID-19 tests on Monday out of the 922 tests administered Thursday, keeping the spring semester’s total at 105—a 75 percent increase from the fall semester. The college’s cumulative testing total sits at 104,936, and the cumulative positivity rate sits at 0.19 percent, a number that continues to decline. 

Monday’s dashboard update also reported one community member in isolation on campus and three 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. 

The college’s latest dashboard update also reported 3 students in on-campus quarantine and 2 students in on-campus isolation. 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.