Massachusetts reports 888 new coronavirus cases

Massachusetts+Gov.+Charlie+Baker.+speaking+at+a+COVID-19+update+inside+the+Massachusetts+State+House.+

Photo: State House News Service

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. speaking at a COVID-19 update inside the Massachusetts State House.

By Frankie Rowley, Deputy Express Editor

Massachusetts reported 888 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, a rise from the 718 new infections reported Tuesday. The death toll rose by 13 

Wednesday’s total marks the third day in a row cases have been below 1,000. On Monday, cases dipped below 500, a benchmark that had not been passed since early fall.

The state reports two COVID-19 positivity rates—one with higher education testing and one without. On Tuesday, the seven-day test positivity rate with higher education testing removed sat at 2.6 percent, down from the 2.9 percent reported this time last week. The rate that includes higher education sits at 1.5 percent.

The state reported 485 hospitalizations Wednesday, down from the 594 reported this time last week. Hospitalizations are steadily declining after they rose briefly in March.

On Wednesday, Massachusetts reported 90,894 new vaccinations, bringing the state’s total to 6,404,145. Over 38 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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The college entered its summer testing cycle on May 3, meaning the dashboard may not update as regularly. Monday’s dashboard update reported no positive COVID-19 tests out of the 338 tests administered on Friday. 

Zero community members were reported to be in on-campus quarantine and isolation. 

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.