Massachusetts Total Cases as of August 12
Positive  166,026
Berkshire County  626
Deaths Statewide  8,547
Berkshire County deaths  46
Total Tested  1,353,299

Aug. 12: The state reported 18 new deaths and 229 new cases. The new reporting dashboard instituted today no longer provides daily numbers for counties; this will now be once a week. 
 
One significant improvement is an update on the six criteria for the reopening plans for the first time since they were implemented on June 5: Contact tracing capabilities was upgraded from "in progress" to "positive trend." It joins testing capicity, COVID-19 positive test rate and number of hospitalized. Still considered in progress are deaths and health-care system readiness. 
 
The seven-day average for positive tests has also taken a nosedive after drifting into the 2-2.2 percent more than a week ago. On Wednesday, the rate had dropped to 1.5 percent; the number of tests was more than 15,000.
 
Aug. 11: The state instituted a new mapping system to designate municipal hotspots with metrics based on the numbers per 100,000 population. The designates run from white (less than 5 cases total) to red (more than 8 cases). These metrics were also provided to school districts for use in determining reopening options. 
 
Berkshire County is white with the exception of Pittsfield, which has less than 4 cases per 100,000 and is set for green. 
 
The number of deaths statewide was 10 and the number of new positive cases, 296. The number of positives in Berkshire County was reduced by one, with no explanation.
 
Aug. 10: After a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in late July and last week, the numbers appear to be declining again. The seven-day average has dipped below 2 percent (1.8 percent) and the number of positive cases was recorded is 214. There tends to be a delay in reporting over the weekend so this may change. The number of deaths was five and, for the first time, no hospital reported using surge capacity. The three-day average for hospitalizations has remained flat since July 24.
 
Aug. 9: The seven-day average of positive cases has remained below 2  percent for the third consecutive day; the number new cases was 286 and the number of deaths was 14. The number of positive cases in the United States passed 5 million. 
 
Aug. 8: A dozen deaths were reported bringing the number to date to 8,500. While deaths remain low and hospitalizations fairly flat, the number of active cases remains higher than it had been in July. The seven-day average, however, has dropped over the last couple days to 1.8-1.9 percent. 
 
Aug. 7: The number of deaths nationally passed 160,000 on Friday; the state reported 18 new deaths and a slightly lowered seven-day average in new cases. The increase in new cases over the past couple weeks, and reports of flagrant violations of pandemic protocols that include a wedding reception attended by 300 in Gardner, lead the governor to halt the next step in the state's reopening.
 
Outdoor gatherings have been scaled back from 100 to 50 and venues, private parties and bars trying to get around the protocols were put on notice that local enforcement could now impose fines. The state of Rhode Island this week was also removed from the states that did not require a two-week isolation, although those who travel regularly for work and education or transitory needs are exempt.
 
Aug. 6: There were 32 deaths reported today. There was a significant drop in positives  162 reported  but it is not clear why.
 
Aug. 5: The state recorded only two deaths but the number of positive cases continues average more than 300. The seven-day average is again at 2.2 percent but hospitalizations have been fairly static since July 24, about the time positive cases began to rise.
 
Aug. 4: The state reported nine deaths and 438 new cases; the seven-day average of positive cases is now at 2.2 percent. 
 
Aug. 3: The number of positive cases slipped below 200 on Monday, but this may be because of delays reporting over the weekend. The number of deaths was 10. The seven-day average for positive cases has been recalculated to 2 percent over the weekend after two delayed "dumps" of positive cases reported last week by larger health facilities; those cases were apportioned back to the days they should have been reported. 
 
Aug. 2: The seven-day average of positive cases has ticked up to 2.2 percent after spending most of July below 2 percent. The number of deaths reported was 11. 
 
Aug. 1: The number of deaths was reported as 17; the seven-day average of positive cases remains at 2.1 percent.
 
July 31: The seven-day average for positive cases has inched up to 21 percent. Gov. Baker on Friday blamed a number of breakouts caused by large gatherings and failure to abide by pandemic protocols. While he said commercial enterprises and residents by and large had been keeping to masking and social distancing, he did not rule having to pause the reopening if the numbers failed to improve. 
 
The number of deaths was 14 but the positives reported was 387, which the governor said was because of a large hospital group delaying reporting. 
 
July 30: Berkshire County recorded its first death since July 3, bringing the total to 46. There have been only three deaths since June 19. The total number of deaths reported today is 15; the seven-day positive test rate remains at 2 percent. 
 
July 29: The number of deaths nationwide passed 150,000; in Massachusetts, 29 more deaths recorded to bring the count to 8,360. The number of positive cases in the Bay State continue to creep up with 356 confirmed and the seven day average now stands at 2 percent, after holding at 1.8-1.9 since July 8. Hospitalizations and deaths have been holding steady. 
 
July 28: Fourteen deaths were reported and, for the first time in several days, the number of new confirmed cases dropped below 200. According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of confirmed cases in the United States is now 4.3 million, the highest in the world, and eight U.S. states are in the top 15 regions for COVID-19. Massachusetts ranks 22nd, behind California (2), Florida (3), New York (4), Texas (5), New Jersey (12), Illinois (13), Georgia (14) and Arizona (15). The top region is Sao Paulo, Brazil, with 487,654 confirmed cases. Of recorded deaths worldwide, 22 percent have so far been in the United States. 
 
 

 

 

1) Wash your hands frequently

2) Cover sneezes and coughs

3) Avoid close contact with people if you or they are ill

4) Don't touch your eyes, face or mouth

5) Disinfect frequently touched surfaces

 

Health Secretary Marylou Sudders demonstrates the correct way to wash your hands.

Cancellations, Closures & Changes 😷

Phase 3, Step One of state reopening began on July 6.

Please assume that your local governmental offices, libraries and COAs are closed or operating under limited conditions. Use your town's official website for business or call to find out what precautions have been put in place. Always call ahead to ensure your destination is open.

July 21: Gov. Charlie Baker extended the pause on evictions and foreclosures for 60 days, until Oct. 17, 2020, through the authority granted to the governor by Chapter 65 of the Acts of 2020, An Act providing for a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 Emergency, which was signed into law on April 20, 2020. 

 

• The Pittsfield RMV is appointment only for only critical services that cannot be done online or over the phone. Check the website for licenses and certificates that have been extended.

Restaurants are open to outside dining and limited in-door dining; many are still offering takeout options. Bars are closed to on-premise consumption.

• Most performances, clubs, fundraisers still cannot be held.

• Indoor activities cannot exceed 25 people in a single enclosed, indoor space. This includes worship, movie theaters, museums and other cultural institutions.

• Fitness centers, health clubs, indoor recreational activities and personal services such as nail salons, barbers and hairdressers can open if abiding by masking, sanitation, social distancing and limited access.
 
• Most state programs are canceled and non-essential executive branch employees have been ordered to stay home.  

Banks are currently open for drive-up, online banking, ATMs; some lobbies began opening on July 6. Check with your bank. 

All groceries, pharmacies, department, convenience and other retail stores are open; masking and social distancing required. 

Child-care centers open only for essential personnel. Visitation at nursing homes and medical facilities have been broadened although anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 should avoid entering care facilities. 

Other services and organizations are mainly open for phone consultation and limited person-to-person contact. 

What you can do 

Take a walk or a bicycle ride. Spring clean. Call friends or Facetime. Get your garden ready. Check on folks who may need help. Watch a movie. Order from your favorite restaurants. Take a deep breath. Wash your hands.

 

 

Northern Berkshire COVID-19 Operations Center

Residents can call with questions at 413-662-3614, answered between 8 and 5 weekdays and voicemail for after hours, or use nbcovid@gmail.com

Berkshire Medical Center

Toll-free hotline for questions staffed seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m: 1-855-BMC-LINK or 1-855-262-5465.

Berkshire Health Systems also has page with upated information here.

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center 

Southwestern Vermont Health Care has an information page with links to public health websites for area states. 

The COVID-19 hotline is staffed weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The number is 802-440-8844.

 

Communities

North Adams COVID-19 updates has links to information and to subscribe to a daily email update.

Pittsfield's COVID-19 page has links to a daily update page and to subscribe for alerts

 

Other Information Sites

Massachusetts Department of Public Health: 617-983-6800

Vermont Department of Health: 802-863-7240

New York Department of Health: 888-364-3065

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services: call 603-271-4496 (after-hours 603-271-5300)

U.S. Centers for Disease Control has information and latest updates.

 

 
Towns Shift Election, Town Meetings This Spring
For elections, town officials are encouraging voters to apply to receive mail-in ballots in order to protect the health of voters and ballot workers on election day.
State Officials Caution May 18 Not 'Magical' Reopening Date
State officials on Monday stressed that May 18 is not a "magical date" for reopening the commonwealth. Rather, the restart of economic activity will be a phased effort based on recommendations...
Face Coverings Mandated on BRTA Buses
Riders are also encouraged to practice social distancing while riding on the bus and maintain space when seating.
SVMC: COVID-19 Update May 1
Even as physical distancing measures remain an important part of outlasting the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff and leaders at SVMC want their patients to know that SVMC and its practices are open,...
Mayor Tyer Urges Continued Cautions, Updates on Mask Policy
During her weekly address Friday on Pittsfield Community Television, she commended Pittsfielders for staying home and being mindful of restrictions and practices aimed at snuffing out COVID-19.
Governor Mandates Wearing of Face Masks in Close Quarters
Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday signed an executive order making the wearing of face masks mandatory in locations where people cannot socially distance at least 6 feet.
May Is Mental Health Month; Time to Maintain 'Connection' During Pandemic
Sudders used the occasion of Friday's start to National Mental Health Month to talk about the resources available to Massachusetts residents and the importance of maintaining one's mental health...
Polito, Baker Discuss How 'Reopening' Board Will Function
At Wednesday's press availability, Gov. Charlie Baker was asked whether he was concerned that the 17-person panel chaired by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito might not have a wide enough cross section of the...
iBerkshiresTV: Video Interview with 1Berkshire's Jonathan Butler
1Berkshire President and CEO Jonathan Butler talks about how the organization pivoted to provide resources to local businesses during the pandemic.
Baker Extends Non-Essential Business Closure Order through May 18
Gov. Charlie Baker Tuesday announced that he is extending the order to close non-essential businesses in the commonwealth through at least May 18 and creating an advisory panel to develop a plans for...
Nurses Association Calls on Governor to Mandate N95 Masks
Local members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association expected to disperse more than 500 protective masks on Saturday afternoon to colleagues at Berkshire Medical Center.
Governor Expects Details on 'Reopening' State Later This Week
The state's pandemic "lockdown" is set to be lifted in one week but state officials aren't clear on how or if that will happen. Gov. Charlie Baker at Monday's daily COVID-19 update declined at...
SVMC: COVID-19 Update April 23
SVMC's President and CEO Tom Dee and Chief Medical Officer Trey Dobson answered COVID-19 questions from the community at Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce/CAT-TV Lunch & Learn earlier today.
Health-Care Officials Urge People Not to Delay Medical Help
It's become so apparent, that six Boston teaching hospitals have partnered on a series of public service announcements urging people not to put off contacting their doctors or avoid emergency rooms...
Federal Waiver Allows for Expansion of Family Food Benefits
This includes some families who are over the income limit for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the National School Lunch programs. No families are obligated to use the card, and they're...
Baker: Expect 'Forceful Guidance' on Business Reopenings
Once those cases peak and begin to decline, officials say they can start talking about phasing a restart of the economy with the knowledge that a second or third wave of the pandemic is likely....
Baker: No One Looking to 'Jump Off the Deep End' on Reopening State
Gov. Charlie Baker indicated Tuesday that he is not feeling any particular pressure to rush to open non-essential businesses in the commonwealth.
Mack Molding, SVHC Partner to Develop Protective Masks for Hospital Workers
After only two weeks of design, testing and manufacturing, Mack's team at Synectic fabricated an attachment to a snorkeling scuba mask. The mask covers the entire face and thus does not require the...
Massachusetts Schools Will Not Reopen This School Year
Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday announced the decision to continue remote learning through the end of the year and to extend the closure of non-essential child care centers through June.
Berkshire Medical Center Joins COVID-19 Plasma Study
BMC is using convalescent plasma as a treatment as part of a study being done by the Mayo Clinic.
Baker: Testing, Not Tweeting Will Determine State's Path Forward
Gov. Charlie Baker said Friday that he plans to follow the phased approach guidelines to reopening the commonwealth that were issued on Thursday and not be distracted by the noise of President...
Berkshire Delegation Tells Nonprofits: State Budget in Limbo
What is most striking about the fiscal 2021 budget discussions in Boston is how little is known by those in the know. But what they can say does not sound good.
SVMC: COVID-19 Update April 16
Our community has shown tremendous support for our local healthcare heroes, and we'd like to take a moment to say thank you! We love the notes of encouragement, the financial donations, protective...
Williamstown's High Number of COVID-19 Cases Driven by Nursing Home Outbreak
When the commonwealth Wednesday began releasing COVID-19 statistics on a town-by-town basis, the Village Beautiful found itself in a class no municipality wants to join.
Williamstown Postpones Town Election, Town Meeting
To get ahead of that possibility, the board voted unanimously to move the election to June 23 and the town meeting to a date to be determined.
COVID-19 Recovery Center Planned in Great Barrington
Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday said the care centers are being developed in conjunction with disbursement of personal protective gear and ongoing testing and tracing to address the novel coronavirus...
Massachusetts Joins Multi-State Council to Stage Economy 'Reopening'
The council announced on Monday by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo brings together seven mid-Atlantic and Northeast states to create a framework for economic restoration in "reopening" their economies.
Pittsfield Health Officials to Monitor Grocery Stores for Social Distance, Mask Compliance
A letter was emailed to 36 grocery stores and supermarkets and was signed by both the city's Health Director, Gina Armstrong, and Dr. Alan Kulberg, chair of the Pittsfield Board of Health.
April 14 COVID-19 Briefs: Send SMVC Staff Meals; NAPS Registration Online
The hospital partnered with the Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce to identify restaurants to participate. Visitors to the Meal Train website volunteer to purchase a meal electronically and...
Baker Announces $10M Investment for Manufacturers Pivoting to Protective Gear
This nondescript item and materials similar to it are now vital to health-care centers across the state because of the highly contagious novel coronavirus.
Pittsfield Cancels Third Thursdays; Plans Economic Assistance to Business
Mayor Linda Tyer made the announcement during her weekly COVID-19 update on PCTV on Friday, confirming what she'd said earlier on a local radio show.
MountainOne Commits $100,000 to BMC's COVID-19 Efforts
MountainOne has committed $100,000 to Berkshire Health Systems to support the Berkshire community and help BHS fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Massachusetts Unemployment Numbers Rocket to 470,000
Gov. Charlie Baker at Thursday's daily COVID-19 briefing said an astonishing 470,000 unemployment claims had been filed in the past three weeks with 140,000 in the last week alone.
Officials Optimistic Efforts May Be 'Flattening Curve' of COVID-19 Cases
State officials are "cautiously optimistic" that efforts to test and social distance may be flattening the curve even as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise.
April 8 COVID-19 Briefs: Big Y Closures; BRTA Advisories
All Big Y stores will be closed Easter Sunday, April 12, and Monday, April 13, and all Big Y Express gas stations will be closed Easter Sunday.
Williamstown Commons COVID-19 Casualties Rise
The total number of deaths in the state jumped to 356 with 96 new deaths reported from over the weekend and Monday. The total for Berkshire County is now 18, two-thirds of those from Williamstown...
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Responds to COVID-19 Crisis
On Thursday, BRPC Executive Director Tom Matuszko told the agency's executive committee that one of its initiatives was able to quickly pivot to addressing the fallout from the novel coronavirus.
Governor Announces COVID-19 Relief Fund, Testing Facility for WMass
He cautioned not to draw conclusions from the daily numbers coming out of the Department of Public Health by reading into one or two-day figures on the contagion's spread.
Bennington Hospital Adds Beds, Infrastructure to Prepare for Surge
That census normally is between 35 and 40 patients, Dobson said. Right now, SVMC has plans in place to treat about 100 patients inside the hospital.
Walmart Implementing COVID-19 Restrictions
As of Saturday, April 4, the number of customers allowed in store will be limited to five per every 1,000 square feet, or about 20 percent of each store's capacity.
Testing, Contact Tracing Touted as Tool to Stop COVID-19 Spread
Gov. Charlie Baker stressed Friday that testing will be an "enormously powerful tool for public health officials" in containing the spread of the novel coronavirus. The new tracing collaborative is...
Williamstown Commons COVID-19 Contagion Spreads
The 180-bed has seen cases rise since the first positive test results on March 24. Within three days the number had jumped to 14.
North Adams Extends Due Dates for City Bills
The City of North Adams will extend due dates on real estate and personal property bills, motor vehicle excise bills, water and sewer bills, and exemption and deferral applications until June 1,...
Adams Community Bank Donates $100,000 to BHS COVID-19 Relief Fund
Adams Community Bank has donated $100,000 to the COVID-19 Relief Fund that was recently established to help Berkshire Health Systems battle the coronavirus pandemic.
Williams College Cancels Commencement, Reunion Weekend
Mandel announced that members of the Class of 2020 will receive a survey seeking their ideas about alternative ways to celebrate their graduation from the liberal arts college.
Covid-19 Briefs April 3: BRTA Modifies Bus Routes
The Elizabeth Freeman Center, the county's provider of services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, is still operating but the is concerned about the decline in requests for help....
Legislators Continue to Plug Away at Budget, Virus-Related Issues
Barrett said despite a "dramatic" loss in state revenues because of the economic slowdown resulting from social distancing measures in place to slow the coronavirus's spread, the federal stimulus...
One Million N95 Masks Headed for Massachusetts
The first shipment is expected to arrive Thursday night with the rest to follow shortly afterward, Gov. Charlie Baker said at Thursday's COVID-19 briefing.
State Establishes Field Medical Station in Worcester's DCU Center
Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito were at the DCU on Wednesday afternoon to provide their daily update on the state's efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Baker: State Stay-in-Place Guidelines Extended to May 4
Gov. Charlie Baker announced Tuesday that he is extending the order closing non-essential businesses and his stay-at-home advisory for residents of the commonwealth through May 4.