Massachusetts reports 177 new coronavirus cases

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker

Photo: State House News Service

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker

By Frankie Rowley, Assistant News Editor

Massachusetts reported 177 new coronavirus cases Friday, down from the 241 cases reported Thursday. The death toll rose by 10.

Friday’s report marks the fourth time this week cases have dipped under 200 — a mark not seen since last June. Cases statewide have plummeted in recent weeks, regularly falling below 500 per day and reaching levels not seen since early last fall, when cases were at their absolute nadir. 

The state reports two COVID-19 positivity rates—one with higher education testing and one without. On Friday, the seven-day test positivity rate with higher education testing removed sat at 0.8 percent—the lowest mark the state has reported since it began tracking the metric. Last week, the rate was 1.1 percent. The rate that includes higher education sits at 0.6 percent. 

The state reported 193 hospitalizations Friday, down from the 241 reported this time last week. Friday’s total marks the first time hospitalizations have fallen below 200 since Sept. 22 when 195 hospitalizations were reported. 

On Friday, Massachusetts reported 38,475 new vaccinations, bringing the state’s total to 7,964,898. More than 54 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. 

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Emerson reported no new positive COVID-19 tests on Friday out of the 75 tests administered on Thursday. 

Zero community members were reported to be in on-campus isolation and quarantine.  

Since summer testing began, Emerson has reported one positive test out of the 1,661 tests administered. 

The spring semester testing cycle concluded with 169 positive COVID-19 tests reported and a positivity rate of 0.21 percent, compared to the 60 cases and 0.12 percent positivity rate reported in the fall. Over the fall and spring semesters, 229 positive tests were reported, adding up to a 0.17 percent positivity rate. 

The college’s dashboard is typically 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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