Well, I was a bit premature. Or, I missed the fact that Boston College’s positive tests were primarily occurring in the past several days. In any event, I’m updating the college tests results I posted two days ago with the latest figures, and I’m adding data on the most recent week of testing to more readily spot trends across the schools.
Table 1 shows the cumulative test results for twelve local colleges, plus UMass Amherst. I dropped UMass Boston from the table because it is doing extremely limited testing (under 400 tests to date), and provides little information. I added UMass Amherst in its place, primarily because of its size and importance in the state University system. Little has changed in these data from two days ago, other than that the positivity rate from BC is up a bit, reflecting the most recent spate of positive cases.
|Table 1: Greater Boston Area College Covid Testing|
|Cumulative Testing Results|
Table 2 shows the results for the most recent week of testing, with the exception of BU, which is for the most recent day published. I’ve converted all the numbers to daily averages to make them comparable across schools. Here, the cluster of cases at Boston College more readily stands out, with a 7 day test postivity rate above 2% – higher than the statewide 0.8% average. None of the other colleges show any increase in positivity rates, and the aggregate rate remains extremely low.
|Table 2: Greater Boston Area College Covid Testing|
|Latest Weekly Results|
|As Of||Daily||Positive||Positive Test|
Are all the test results for the schools being reported to the state and included in the state dashboard figures? It is difficult to tell. Over the past seven days, the state has reported slightly more than 44,000 tests per day on average. If all the results in Table 2 were reported to the state, this implies that these thirteen colleges account for almost half the reported testing statewide. They probably do account for the bulk of the college testing in Massachusetts (I believe that the remaining colleges are either doing limited testing or are relatively small).
However, for the week ending August 15th before most of these college testing programs had begun to ramp up , the Commonwealth reported about 24,000 tests per day, of which 7,500 were for repeat testers. This would mean that almost all the testing increase since mid-August has come from these colleges (or testing for the non-college-affliated population has dropped off). This isn’t likely, but it seems highly likely that many of the colleges on the list are reporting to the state. If so, they are partly driving the increasing testing totals and decreasing positivity rates among repeat testers.