Massachusetts reports 1,884 new coronavirus cases

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Photo: State House News Service

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker

By Frankie Rowley, Assistant News Editor

Massachusetts reported 1,884 new coronavirus cases Thursday, a significant decline from the 2,004 new infections reported Wednesday. The death toll rose by 5.

Thursday’s total marks the third day this week cases have dipped below 2,000. Throughout the past week, Massachusetts has observed a fall in daily new cases, which regularly surpassed 2,000 in recent weeks. Cases fell below that benchmark each day between Feb. 12 and March 26. 

The state reports two COVID-19 positivity rates—one with higher education testing and one without. On Thursday, the seven-day test positivity rate with higher education removed sat at 4.1, up from the 3.9 percent reported this time last week. The rate that includes higher education sits at 2.3 percent. 

The state reported 710 total hospitalizations on Thursday, down from the 735 reported this time last week. Hospitalizations have slowly begun rising over the past three weeks after declining substantially over the course of February and March, following a spike amid the state’s wintertime surge. Last Thursday marked the first time hospitalizations reached 700 since March 4. 

On Thursday, Massachusetts reported 95,048 new vaccinations, bringing the state’s total to 4,834,646. Over 27 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. Almost 42 percent of the state’s population has received their first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.   

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Emerson reported one new positive COVID-19 test Thursday out of the 1,061 tests administered Wednesday, bringing the number of positive tests reported over the past two-week period to 58. 

The spring semester’s positive tests total now sits at 163, an increase of about 172 percent from the 60 positives reported in the fall semester.

Thursday’s dashboard update also reported 18 community members in isolation on campus and 19 in quarantine on campus. This time last week, 28 community members were reported to be in on campus isolation and 48 in on campus quarantine. 

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 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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