Massachusetts reports 2,252 new coronavirus cases


Photo: State House News Service

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker

By Frankie Rowley, Content Managing Editor

Massachusetts reported 2,252 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, a rise from the 1,683 new infections reported Tuesday. The death toll rose by 36. 

Wednesday’s case total marks the first day this week cases have surpassed 2,000, following a three-day period this week where cases dipped below 2,000. Last week, the state surpassed 2,000 cases for a three-day period, a trend that had not been observed since Feb. 12. 

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 4.3 percent, up from 3.9 percent reported this time last week. The rate that includes higher education sits at 2.5 percent. 

The state reported 690 total hospitalizations Wednesday, up from the 628 reported this time last week. Hospitalizations have slowly begun rising over the past two weeks after declining substantially over the course of February and March following a spike amid the state’s wintertime surge.

On Wednesday, Massachusetts reported 71,434 new vaccinations, bringing the state’s total to 3,554,711. Over 19 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 two new positive COVID-19 tests on Wednesday out of the 1,296 tests administered Tuesday, bringing the spring semester’s total to 109, an increase of about 82 percent from the 60 positives reported in the fall semester. 

Tuesday’s dashboard update also reported two community members in isolation on campus and eight in quarantine on campus, the highest reported number of students in quarantine since late February. 

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.