Massachusetts reports 3,572 new coronavirus cases


Stuart Cahill/Pool Photo

Gov. Charlie Baker speaks to the media after receiving a flu shot at a CVS in Roslindale on September 17, 2020 in Boston, MA.

By Charlie McKenna

Massachusetts reported 3,572 new coronavirus cases Monday, down from the 4,677 new infections reported Sunday. The state’s death total rose by 37.

The recent spike in cases prompted Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh to roll back the city’s reopening beginning Wednesday. Boston will move out of phase three, step one, and into phase two, step two. 

Now, more than two weeks after Thanksgiving, any of the potential holiday travel and gathering spread warned of by experts will begin appearing in public health data. 

The state reports two COVID-19 positivity rates—with higher education testing and without. The seven-day test positivity rate with higher education testing removed has seemingly plateaued—sitting at 7.70 percent Monday, and 7.44 percent a week ago.  

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 are currently surging. On Monday, the state reported 1,788 total hospitalizations, compared to 1,516 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.