Massachusetts reports 253 new coronavirus cases


State House News Service

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

By Charlie McKenna

Massachusetts reported 253 new coronavirus cases Friday, a slight rise from the 215 new infections reported Thursday. The death toll rose by 4.

Friday’s report marks the third time this week cases have topped 200. Cases statewide have plummeted in recent weeks, regularly falling below 500 per day. 

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 1.1 percent, down from 1.6 percent this time last week. The rate that includes higher education sits at 0.7 percent.

The state reported 241 hospitalizations Friday, down from the 327 reported this time last week. 

On Friday, Massachusetts reported 56,253 new vaccinations, bringing the state’s total to 7,748,396. Nearly 52 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 no new positive COVID-19 tests on Friday out of the 34 tests administered on Thursday. 

On Thursday, the college reported the first positive COVID-19 test since the beginning of the summer testing cycle. 

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.