Massachusetts reports 71 new coronavirus cases


State House News Service

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

By Camilo Fonseca, Editor-at-large

Massachusetts reported 71 new coronavirus cases Friday, a decline from the 82 cases reported Thursday. The death toll rose by 3.

Friday’s report marks the sixth consecutive day that cases have fallen below 100. Cases statewide have continued to plummet in recent weeks — regularly falling below 200 and hitting lows never before seen throughout the course of the pandemic. Even at their lowest point last summer, cases were still topping more than 100 each day. 

The state reports two COVID-19 positivity rates—one with higher education testing and one without. On Thursday, the seven-day test positivity rate with higher education testing removed sat at 0.5 percent—the lowest mark the state has reported since it began tracking the metric. This time last week, it sat at 0.7 percent. The rate that includes higher education sits at 0.4 percent. 

The state reported 110 hospitalizations Friday, down from the 150 reported this time last week. 

On Friday, Massachusetts reported 25,469 new vaccinations, bringing the state’s total to 8,407,957. More than 58 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 positive COVID-19 tests Wednesday, out of the 55 administered on Thursday. Zero community members were reported to be in on-campus isolation and quarantine.

Since summer testing began on May 3, Emerson has reported one positive test out of the 2,184 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.