Massachusetts reports 281 new coronavirus cases


State House News Service

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

By Frankie Rowley and Colin A. Young

Massachusetts reported 281 new coronavirus cases Monday, a decline from the 494 new infections reported Sunday. The death toll rose by 19. 

Monday’s report marks the first time since Aug. 21, 2020, when 283 cases were reported, that cases have dropped below 300. 

By May 29, more than two months ahead of the schedule previously announced, Massachusetts intends to lift all remaining COVID-19 restrictions and the state of emergency that’s been in place since March 10, 2020 will be lifted June 15, Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday morning. 

The state’s requirement that people wear face coverings will go away May 29 and be replaced by an advisory consistent with the recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidance that vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask in most settings.

Masks will still be required on transportation, in health care settings, schools and congregate living settings regardless of vaccination status. 

The state reports two COVID-19 positivity rates—one with higher education testing and one without. On Monday, the seven-day test positivity rate with higher education testing removed sat at 1.7 percent, down from 2.1 percent this time last week. The rate that includes higher education sits at 1.0 percent.

The state reported 336 hospitalizations Monday, down from the 427 reported this time last week. 

On Monday, Massachusetts reported 25,904 new vaccinations, bringing the state’s total to 7,168,399. Over 47 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 Monday out of the 2 tests administered on Friday. Zero community members were reported to be in on-campus isolation and quarantine.  

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.