Massachusetts surpasses 2,000 single day cases

Emerson%27s+testing+site+is+located+at+a+Tufts+Medical+Center+facility+on+the+corner+of+Harrison+Ave.+and+Kneeland+St.

Media: Diti Kohli

Emerson’s testing site is located at a Tufts Medical Center facility on the corner of Harrison Ave. and Kneeland St.

By Charlie McKenna and Chris Lisinski

Massachusetts reported 2,038 new coronavirus cases Friday. The total increased from 1,761 cases reported Thursday. The number of deaths fell from 23 to 21. 

New infections continue to rise in the state—cases numbers topped 2,000 for the first time since May 1. 

“The second surge that so many of the folks in the public health community talked about last summer, which now seems like a million years ago, is certainly underway not just here but across the U.S. and frankly across almost all the western democracies,” Governor Charlie Baker told local officials gathered for a phone call meeting.

Despite the surge in cases, Baker is pushing for schools to reopen for in-person learning. 

New guidance from the state Department of Early and Secondary Education instructs cities and towns in any risk designation below the most severe level to resume fully in-person schooling. Even those in the highest-risk red category should opt for hybrid models rather than fully virtual options, the administration now says.

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Schools should only reverse course from prioritizing partial or fully in-person learning if there is suspected in-school transmission or a major outbreak in the community, officials said.

Emerson reported no new positive COVID-19 test results Thursday out of 1,115 new tests administered on Nov. 4 and 5, leaving the college’s cumulative positive tests since Aug. 6 at 29. Emerson’s cumulative testing total sits at 39,477.

The new data was reported at 12:13 p.m.  

The college’s reported testing total for Nov. 4 rose to 494 after reporting just eight new tests initially. 

The college 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. 

Emerson’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 Assistant Vice President for Campus Life Muurisepp, who serves as the college’s “COVID lead”. 

The dashboard is not updated on weekends because Emerson’s testing site at Tufts Medical Center is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.