Massachusetts reports 405 new coronavirus cases

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Photo: State House News Service

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

By Frankie Rowley, Deputy Express Editor

Massachusetts reported 405 new coronavirus cases Saturday, a slight increase from the 400 new infections reported Friday. The death toll rose by five.

Saturday’s report marks the fifth time this week that cases have been under 500—marking the ninth time in the last twelve days cases have fallen below that marker. 

The state reports two COVID-19 positivity rates—one with higher education testing and one without. On Saturday, the seven-day test positivity rate with higher education testing removed sat at 1.5 percent, down from 1.7 percent this time last week. The rate that includes higher education sits at 1.0 percent.

The state reported 281 hospitalizations Saturday, down from the 352 reported this time last week. Saturday’s report marks the lowest number of hospitalizations since Oct. 5 when 288 were reported.

On Friday, Massachusetts reported 48,756 new vaccinations, bringing the state’s total to 7,482,859. Over 49 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. 

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Emerson reported no new positive COVID-19 tests on Friday out of the 59 tests administered on Thursday. Zero community members were reported to be in on-campus isolation and quarantine.  

Since summer testing began, Emerson has reported no new positive test results of the 1,076 tests administered. 

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.