Massachusetts reports 2,004 new coronavirus cases

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Photo: State House News Service

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker

By Frankie Rowley, Assistant News Editor

Massachusetts reported 2,004 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, a significant rise from the 1,401 new infections reported Tuesday. The death toll rose by 14.

Wednesday’s total marks the first day this week cases have topped 2,000. Throughout the past three days, Massachusetts was observing 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 Wednesday, the seven-day test positivity rate with higher education removed sat at 4.2, equal to the rate reported this time last week. The rate that includes higher education sits at 2.4 percent. 

The state reported 711 total hospitalizations on Wednesday, down from the 755 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 Wednesday, Massachusetts reported 92,495 new vaccinations, bringing the state’s total to 4,739,598. Almost 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 Wednesday out of the 1,145 tests administered Tuesday, bringing the two week positive tests reported to 57. 

The spring semester’s positive tests total now sits at 162, an increase of about 170 percent from the 60 positives reported in the fall semester.

Wednesday’s dashboard update also reported 22 community members in isolation on campus and 20 in quarantine on campus. This time last week, 24 community members were reported to be in on campus isolation and 38 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.