Massachusetts reports 2,463 new coronavirus cases


Photo: State House News Service

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

By Charlie McKenna

Massachusetts reported 2,463 new coronavirus cases Monday, a steep decline from the 4,747 new infections reported Sunday. The state’s death total rose by 30.

Cases frequently fall below recent averages on Mondays. Last week, the state reported just 1,166 new infections Monday after reporting more than 2,000 the six days prior. Cases topped 4,000 five days in a row this week before falling sharply today. 

New infections in the state have steadily risen since mid-September, but have exploded in recent days. Now in the midst of a second wave, city and state officials are warning against holiday travel and gatherings, which experts say could accelerate the spread of the virus

Experts have said the surge in recent days is likely not a result of Thanksgiving travel and gatherings. New cases related to the holiday will begin showing up over the next two weeks, they said.

The state recently changed the way it reports COVID-19 positivity rates, separating higher education testing into its own category. The seven day test positivity rate with higher education testing removed sits at 7.44 percent, up from 5.55 percent just a week ago. 

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 are currently surging. On Monday, the state reported 1,516 total hospitalizations, compared to 1,174 last week.

Emerson reported no new testing data Monday. 

Students remaining on campus through winter break will be tested on Tuesdays each week. Administrators told The Beacon fewer than 30 students remain on campus through the break. 

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 have said 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.