Massachusetts Total Cases as of Jan. 17
Positive Statewide   448,311
Berkshire County   3,969
Deaths Statewide   13,372 
Berkshire County deaths   184
Seven-Day Positive Test Rate    5.86
 
Jan. 17: There was one death and 32 new cases reported in the county. The total number of cases is now 3,969. The state reported 67 deaths, for a total of 13,372, and 4,283 new cases, for a total of 448,311. The seven-day average positive test rate dropped to 5.86 percent. 
 
The Department of Public Healther confirmed on Sunday the first case of the COVID-19 variant first found in the United Kingdom. The Boston resident had traveled to the United Kingdom and tested negative prior to returning home. She felt ill in early January and tested positive; a genetic sample was sent to an out of state laboratory and was confirmed as B.1.1.7. To date, the CDC has reported 88 cases from 14 states in the United States.
 
Jan. 16: Daily case numbers in the Berkshires show no sign of abating, with another 78 reported on Saturday. During the summer, the county was seeing days without any cases being reported. There were also another three deaths, bringing the total to 183. 
 
The seven-day average positive test rate statewide has continued to drop, now 6.15 percent, but daily cases remain in the 5,000-6,000 range. Saturday's report was 5,657 new cases for 444,028 total; deaths were 74, for 13,305. 
 
The number of infections have mainly increased in younger people, with the greatest number of new cases over the past two weeks being in the three categories for ages ranging from 0 to 39. Those under age 20 have the highest confirmed cases at 14,179. 
 
The average age of hospitalizations is now 73. There are nearly 300 people intubated statewide although there has been a slight decrease in overall hospitalizations at 2,197. BMC reported on Friday that it has 40 (four at Fairview) patients on precautions with two pending tests. This is down about 20 from two weeks ago. There have now been 72 deaths at the hospital.
 
The number of deaths globally has surpassed 2 million and confirmed infections now total 94,410,568. The United States makes up 20 percent of all deaths and 25 percent of all infections worldwide. 
 
Jan. 15: There were two more deaths bringing the total to 180  and 52 new cases for a total of 3,859. 
 
The state reported 75 deaths for a total of 13,231 and 5,074 cases for a total of 438,371. Nationwide, total cases number 23,491,421 and deaths, 391,540. The statewide seven-day average 6.45. The county's 11-day average as of Jan. 14 is 4.95 percent.
 
In the last seven days there have been 52,239 first doses of vaccine and 206,190 total; 31,673 second doses in the past week and 32,894 total. Total cumulative doses so far is 239,174. 
 
Massachusetts has received 142,350 Pfizer doses and 205,100 Moderna doses. The Berkshires have so far received 7,650.
 
Pittsfield has set up a hotline for city residents to provide them with information on when vaccines will be available. The number 413-449-5575 goes into operation this weekend and will be updated Mondays. Currently individuals in Phase 1 (health-care workers, first-responders, and congregate-care facilities).
 
Jan. 14: The county's death rate continues to climb with six more deaths reported on Thursday. At least 178 people have now succumbed to novel coronavirus. 
 
Cases countywide jumped by another 74, bringing the total to 3,807. Several of the smaller communities have seen a signficant increase in cases over the past weeks. 
 
Cheshire nearly doubled its total cases, adding 34 over the last two weeks for a total of 72. Adams was up more than 25 percent, with 46 cases for total of 171. Great Barrington was up nearly a third with 80 cases and Lanesborough up 28 percent with 21 cases and a total of 76.  North Adams added 72 cases for a total of 263.
 
A few towns have had neglible cases. Florida has five and Hancock a total of 12 with none in the last 14 days. 
 
The state reported a seven-day positive average rate of 6.67 percent, down from more than 8 percent over the holidays. There were 5,545 new cases for a total of 433,297 and 74 deaths, for a total of 13,156.
 
Jan. 13: Six more deaths were reported in the county bringing the total number now to 172. Half of all deaths to date occurred since Dec. 9, or 50 percent in five weeks. Sixty-eight deaths occurred at Berkshire Medical Center over the last 10 months. 
 
The hospital is down to 48 (four at Fairview); 23.4 percent of the 47 tests at BMC in the last seven days have been positive.
 
The number of new cases is 52 for a total of 3,733.
 
The statewide seven-day positive average test rate is 7.11 percent. The number of new cases is 5,278, for a total of 427,752; the number of deaths is 86, bringing the number to 13,082.
 
Nationwide, the number of infections has surpassed 23 million and deaths stand at 383,939.
 
Gov. Charlie Baker defended his administration's strategy of taking a phased approach to COVID-19 vaccine distribution and the decision to move to congregate care facilities — including corrections facilities — next week. 
 
In North Adams, the Board of Health declined, for the moment, to close restaurants despite a spike in cases traced back to eateries and Mayor Linda Tyer in Pittsfield warned that the city had seen a steep increase over the past five days and a seven-day average positive test rate of 6 percent. 
 
 
Jan. 12: The county recorded 67 new cases and two deaths for totals of 3,681 and 166, respectively. The state reported 4,906 new cases, bringing that number to 422,474, and 67 deaths, for a total of 12,996.
 
BMC is down to 48 patients on precautions, three of those at Fairview, and one pending. Over the past week, has had 27 confirmed COVID-19 cases and there have been 67 deaths since March. 
 
Jan. 11: Positive cases continue to rise in the county with 71 reported on Monday for a total of 3,614, and one death bringing the count to 163. Pittsfield accounts for more than half the cases with 1,807 recorded Monday, but less than a third of the deaths at 49. 
 
The state recorded 4,239 new cases and 417,568 total, and 54 deaths for 12,929 total. The seven-day positive average rate is 7.26 percent. 
 
The number of hospitalizations has declined to just over 2,200 but there are 451 patients in ICUs and 285 who are intubated. The average age for hospitalization is at 73. 
 
BMC has seen a slight decline with 57 patients on precautions (three at the Fairview swing unit) and one pending tests. The hospital has had 64 deaths. 
 
National numbers are 22,540,969 cases and 375,373 deaths. 
 
First-responders began receiving the vaccine on Monday, with the Moderna vaccine distributed in North County. The majority of the public safety officials and EMTs are expected to be inoculated with the first shot by the end of the week. Reported about 75 percent of health-care workers at Berkshire Health Systems have been inoculated. 
 
 

 

 

 

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.

 
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