Massachusetts reports 78 new coronavirus cases


Photo: State House News Service

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker

By Frankie Rowley, Deputy Express Editor

Massachusetts reported 78 new coronavirus cases Thursday, up from the 68 cases reported Wednesday. The death toll rose by 4.

Cases have fallen below the 100 mark every day since June 13—a mark the state had never previously hit over the course of the pandemic. Even at their lowest point last summer, cases still topped 100 each day. 

Massachusetts 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 0.4 percent; this time last week, the rate was 0.5 percent. The rate that includes higher education sits at 0.3 percent. 

The state reported 96 hospitalizations Thursday, down from the 115 reported this time last week. 

On Thursday, Massachusetts reported 16,636 new vaccinations, bringing the state’s total to 8,505,005. More than 60 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. On Tuesday, Massachusetts reached its goal of fully vaccinating 4.1 million residents, set by Gov. Charlie Baker in December. 

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Emerson reported no new positive COVID-19 tests on Thursday out of the 47 tests administered on Wednesday. Zero community members were reported to be in on-campus isolation or quarantine. 

Since summer testing began on May 3, Emerson has reported one positive test out of the 2,365 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.