Chronological Narrative of COVID-19

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Jan. 10: The county made it through a day with no reported deaths and added 43 new cases for a total of 3,543. The state reported 77 deaths for a total of 12,875 and 5,396 cases for a total of 413,329.
 
The seven-day positive average rate is 7.21, down more than a point from last month.
 
Jan. 9: The county recorded five more deaths, bringing the count to 163, and 86 new cases for a total of 3,500 since March. The state's numbers were 7,110 cases (407,933) and 90 deaths (12,798). 
 
Within a four-day period the state went from a low of 2,645 on Dec. 24 from the surge after Halloween to the highest case count of the year on 8,522 of Dec. 28. However, the number of deaths have remain low relative to a high of 197 reached on April 4. 
 
The seven-day positive test rate is 7.35 percent, and the rates for North Adams is 4.61 percent and Pittsfield 4.65 percent over the past 14 days. 
 
The national numbers were 22,095,975 cases and 371,989 deaths.
 
Jan. 8: The state passed the 400,000 mark in cumulative cases to date and another 74 Bay State citizens have died, bringing the total to 12,708.  The pandemic shows no sign of abating as hospitalizations remain at more than 2,300 with more than 400 in ICUs. The 14-day incidence rate is 61.1 per 100,000 people and the seven-day positive average test rate is 7.42 percent. 
 
Probable cases have continued to be tracked as well, with 485 reported on Friday for a total of 18,898. Some of these may later be confirmed, others are based from the beginning of the pandemic when health officials relied on symptoms and exposure. There have been 277 probable COVID-19 related deaths. More than 6,700 people, or nearly half, had died in hospitals and nearly that number had a pre-existing condition that put them at risk for the infection. 
 
In Berkshire County, one more person has died and 76 more cases were reported. There have now been 158 deaths and 3,414 total confirmed cases. The county has had an average of 62 cases reported daily in the two weeks since Christmas Eve. 
 
The national numbers also continue to rise with 21,818,572 and 368,296 deaths. The highest daily average of reported deaths over the last seven days has been in Arizona, Rhode Island, Tennessee, West Virginia and New Mexico. The U.S. saw a 19 percent increase in deaths over the past week. A high of more than 4,000 daily deaths was reported as of Thursday.
 
Jan. 7: Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday extended restrictions on businesses that went into effect on Dec. 26 through at least Jan. 24 in an effort to stem Massachusetts' second surge of COVID-19 cases. The limitations were to end on Jan. 10.
 
The number of positive cases continue to climb in the Berkshires with 78 more added on Thursday for a total of 3,338 to date. There were two deaths, bringing that number to 157. Two-thirds of these deaths have occurred since the beginning of December. 
 
Berkshire Medical Center has 61 patients on precautions and one awaiting tests; Fairview still has six. There have been 62 deaths in the hospital.
 
The county has a seven-day positive test rate of 4.18 percent, nearly half the state's rate of 7.83 percent Thursday. North Adams had a higher rate of 4.61 and Pittsfield of 4.65; Williamstown's was quite low at 1.84. 
 
The state had 7,136 new cases for a total of 393,188 and 71 deaths for a total of 12,634. There are now 21,503,004 cases nationwide and 364,218 deaths. 
 
Jan. 6: The county lost another five lives and added 86 more positive cases, for totals of 155 and 3,260, respectively. The number of new cases statewide was 6,419, for a total of 386,052, and the number of deaths was 99, for a total of 12,563 to date. 
 
The seven-day average positive test rate is 8.25 percent. 
 
Pittsfield was back in the red with 60 new cases as of Tuesday for a total of 1,666. More than 400 households were in quarantine and the death toll stands at 49. The number of patients on COVID-19 precautions has risen to 54 at BMC and six at Fairview. 
 
Jan. 5: Five more people have died in Berkshire County from COVID-19, bringing the number to date to 150, and a high of 92 new cases were reported on Tuesday. The county has averaged 57 new cases a day since Christmas Day. In contrast, the average was eight cases per day in the week leading up to Halloween. 
 
The state recorded 4,178 new cases for a total of 379,633 and 63 deaths, bringing that total to 12,464. The seven-day positive average test rate is 8.57 percent; the number is 3.43 percent in North Adams and 3.23 percent in Pittsfield. New Ashford at 14.29 percent and Lanesborough at 16.67 percent are much higher than the rest of the county but might be caused by low testing number.
 
The average age of those confirmed for COVID-19 is 41 but the average hospitalization is 73 and death is 81. More than 2,400 people are now hospitalized and 425 are in ICUs. BMC has 47 patients on precautions and five pending tests; there is one patient at Fairview and five in the swing program. There have been 61 deaths at the hospital.
 
 
Jan. 4: The county added another death, for a total of 145, and 62 new cases, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases to 3,082. BMC still has 49 patients on precautions and four pending results, along with another four in the swing unit at Fairview. So far 60 deaths have occurred at BMC, up from 53 on Thursday. 
 
The state numbers were 4,358 new cases and 60 deaths, bringing the totals to  375,455 and 12,401, respectively. The seven-day average positive rate is 8.50. 
 
The governor on Monday announced plans to begin the second phase of the vaccination program for emergency responders, including EMTs, police and fire. Berkshire County first-responders will be able to start signing up for appointments at one of three county vaccination centers, according to the state's website: St. Elizabeth's Parish Center in North Adams, Berkshire Community College's Paterson Field House in Pittsfield and the W.E.B. Du Bois Middle School in Great Barrington.
 
BMC is continuing to inoculate employees and has now received several hundred doses of the Moderna vaccine to supplement the Pfizer shipment from last month. Both vaccines require two doses a few weeks apart. In December, the state received 285,050 doses of vaccine, 138,450 from Pfizer and 146,600 from Moderna. Berkshire County had received 7,050 doses as of Dec. 29.  
 
The state Department of Public Health also launched the new interactive COVID-19 dashboard with rocky results. The site worked only intermittently and was down "Due to high volumes of web traffic." DPH was still working to load the site at 7:30 p.m.
 
Jan. 3: The number of deaths jumped by six and cases by 38 on Sunday. There have been 144 deaths so far in the county, of which about 93 were residents at local nursing homes. As of Thursday, Berkshire Medical Center reported 53 deaths had occurred in the hospital. 
 
The number of cases total in the county have now passed 3,000. About half of these cases have been reported since Nov. 28, within just over a month. 
 
Statewide, there were 3,110 cases reported for a total of 371,097; there were 105 deaths reported for a total of 12,341. The seven-day positive average test rate was 8.42.
 
Household clusters continue to dominate exposures to the novel coronavirus with 19,931 clusters traced in the two weeks leading up to Christmas and 51,044 confirmed cases. Long-term and child care facilities are also high but far, far below households with clusters in the mid-100s and confirmed cases of 1,186 and 478, respectively. Offices, retail, restaurants and schools are among the lowest transmission sites. 
 
Jan. 2: The county saw 75 new cases since New Year's Eve on Thursday but no deaths, leaving the total 138.
 
A surge in COVID-19 cases reportedly overwhelmed Berkshire Medical Center's emergency department on Thursday afternoon. The hospital has been dealing with the increase in cases and staff having to isolate because of exposure to the coronavirus. 
 
The patient numbers have climbed, with BMC as of its last update Thursday reporting 49 patients on COVID-19 positive precautions and 35 confirmed positives hospitalized within the seven days prior. Over the last two weeks of December, there have been 67 hospitalizations. 
 
Statewide, the number of patients has remained about 2,200 but the average age of hospitalizations has risen to 73 after being in the 60s for several months. The average age of deaths has stayed at 81. Both those age groups have the lowest numbers of infections; ages 0 to 29 have the highest. 
 
The number of statewide cases reported was 8,542 for a total of 367,987 and deaths 79 for a total of 12,236. The seven-day positive average rate is 8.67 percent. 
 
Nationally, the cumulative number of cases is more than 20 million and 349,521 people have died. An average of 2,400 people died every day over the past week.
 
Dec. 31: The county ends 2020 with two more deaths and 62 new cases of COVID-19. December has been a particularly difficult month with 1,262 new cases, or 43 percent of all cases this year. There were 64 deaths, or 46 percent of all deaths so far. 
 
North Adams has had 199 cases total, or about 7 percent of the county's total, with nearly a quarter of those in the last two weeks. Williamstown has a cumulative case count of 161, with 25 in the last two weeks and Adams 126, with 24 in the last two weeks. 
 
Statewide, the seven-day positive test rate is now 8.60 percent. The state recorded 6,887 new cases for a total of 359,445 and 81 more deaths for a total of 12,157.
 
There will be no update on Jan. 1.
 
Dec. 30: The number of deaths statewide passed 12,000 and cases topped 350,000. The death toll of 118 was the highest in one day in months. The Berkshires recorded four deaths for a total of 136 and added 58 new cases for a total of 2,845.
 
The seven-day positive average rate jumped to 8.44 percent, almost 106 times higher than it was in August. The governor on Wednesday urged residents not to travel or gather in groups larger than 10 — and preferably only with those they live with  over the New Year's holiday. 
 
There is some indication people are taking precautions after the surge in cases after Halloween and Thanksgiving that saw the number of hospitalizations more than double to 2,257. Of those, more than 400 are in ICUs and at least 231 are intubated. Gov. Baker said the number of passengers at Logan Airport is down 70 percent from the same period last year.
 
He also said at Wednesday's briefing that close to 100,000 people will have their first vaccination by week's end and that another 200,000 or so would be done by the end of January. The next round of vaccinations  the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots  will begin on Jan. 19. 
 
The number of deaths in the nation climbed to 341,964 and cases overall to 19,722,442, nearly twice that of the next closest nation, India. Worldwide there have been more than 1.8 million deaths and nearly 83 million cases. 
 
Dec. 29: The number of county deaths continues to creep up with another one reported Tuesday for a total of 132. The number of new cases is 54 for a total of 2,787, of which 1,424 were in Pittsfield. 
 
The number of new cases statewide was 3,659 for a total of 346,423. The number for Tuesday was slightly down but the seven-day average positive test rate was 7.58, up nearly a full percentage over Monday. This may be because of less testing being done over the holidays, with the number of molecular tests down about 10,000 from a week ago. 
 
The number of cases nationwide is now 19.5 million and deaths are at 337,210. There were 58 deaths reported in the state for a total of 11,958. 
 
As of Dec. 28, Hillcrest is still at zero cases, Kimball Farms is at one and Williamstown Commons is 16. Berkshire Healthcare began voluntary vaccinations on Monday.
 
Dec. 28: Two more deaths were reported in the county and 56 new cases, bringing the total to 2,733. The state had 4,060 cases for a total of 342,764, and 48 deaths. The seven-day positive average rate was 6.68. 
 
The number of deaths nationwide was 334,515 and the number of total cases, 19,257,274.
 
Dec. 27: Three more deaths were reported in Berkshire County bringing the total to 129, with nine in the last five days. There have been 65 deaths since Dec. 1, or about half of all deaths to date, making this final month of 2020 the deadliest since the beginning of the pandemic. 
 
The state reported 100 deaths for a total of 11,825. There have been 1,283 deaths since Dec. 1 or nearly 11 percent of all deaths since March 1 with four more days left in the year. 
 
More than 2,100 people are hospitalized, with more than 400 in ICUs and 230 on ventilators. Statewide, the number of positive cases has surpassed 338,000. The largest number of total infections is in the 20-29 age group. Between Dec. 6 and 19, there were 11,427 positive cases in that age group, followed by 10,797 for the 0-19 age group. 
 
The smallest number of infections was for the combined age groups of 70 to 80 years and older  5,612  but the average age for deaths is 80. The second lowest group is 60-69 years and the average age of those hospitalized is 69.
 
The seven-day positive average rate is 6.28 percent.
 
Nationally, the number cases passed 19 million and deaths, 330,000.
 
Dec. 26: Today's numbers include reports from midnight Thursday to midnight Friday on Christmas Day. The county reported another death, for a total of 126, and 56 new cases for 2,660 total. 
 
The state reported 7,424 new cases for a total of 335,731, and 46 more deaths. Nationwide, the total number of infections is approaching 19 million and deaths have now surpassed 330,000.
 
Dec. 24: Christmas Eve found four more deaths recorded in Berkshire County for a total of 125 deaths to date. The number of new cases also remained high at 58, putting the total number to over 2,600. 
 
Statewide deaths were 76, for a total of 11,706, and the number of new cases was 5,655 for a total of 328,307. 
 
New gathering limits go into effect on Saturday -- all venues at 25 percent capacity; outdoor limit is 25 and indoors 10. The next public health dashboard will be published Saturday, Dec. 26.
 
Dec. 23: The county recorded 33 new cases and one death; the state, 4,509 new cases and 81 deaths. This is one of the largest single spikes in statewide deaths in some weeks. 
 
The seven-day average positive rate is 5.92 percent. 
 
Nationally, the number of deaths has now surpassed 325,000 and total cases more than 18.4 million.
 
Dec. 22: Tuesday marked the first day a death was not recorded since Nov. 24. There have been 68 deaths in the 28 days since then, or 57 percent of all deaths from COVID-19 to date in the county.
 
The number of new cases was 31, bringing the total to date to 2,513. Pittsfield's transmission rate has dropped into the yellow category after nearly a month in the red. The city's has seen 721 new cases between Nov. 25 and Dec. 21, or 55 percent of its cases since March 1. The highest daily number was 73 on Dec. 1. Nearly 41,000 tests have been administered and almost half of those since late October. The city's positive test rate is about 4.77 percent after hitting 7.9 percent two weeks ago. 
 
Still, there are nearly 900 active cases and more than 400 households in quarantine. The rate of positive tests over the past seven days at BMC is 4.4 percent for PCR and 11.4 percent for antibodies. There are 30 patients with two more pending tests. 
 
Berkshire Healthcare Systems reports only nine active cases now at Hillcrest Commons, 13 at Kimball Farms and 22 at Williamstown Commons, as off Sunday. 
 
The statewide seven-day average positive rate is 5.98 percent and the number of new cases is 3,293 for a total of 318,143. The death toll is 11,549 with 43 new deaths reported.
 
The governor announced new restrictions effective Saturday, Dec. 26, to limit gatherings and parties during the holidays. Occupancy levels are set at 25 percent and indoor gatherings at 10. 
 
Nationwide, the total number of cases climbed to 18,168,777, and deaths to 322,611.
Dec. 21: The state reported 37 new cases in the county, for a total of 2,482, and one death, bringing that total to 120. 
 
There were 3,760 new cases statewide, bringing the total to almost 315,000, and 41 deaths for a total of 11,506. The seven-day positive average rate is 5.94 percent. The number of cases nationwide is now more than 18 million with 319,363 reported deaths. 
 
 
Dec. 20: Two more deaths were reported bringing the total to 119 in the county and another 41 cases were reported for a total of 2,445. 
 
The number of cases statewide rose to 311,090 with another 4,162 reported Sunday. The number of deaths was 60, for a total of 11,465. The seven-day average positive rate dropped to 5.78 percent. 
 
Nationally, the cases have climbed to 17.8 million and 317,597 have now died.
 
 
Dec. 19: Dec. 19: the county recorded 25 new cases for a total of 2,404 and one death, bringing the total to 117. 
 
Nearly half of the deaths to date are from the deadly outbreaks at Hillcrest Commons and Kimball Farms nursing homes in Pittsfield. Forty residents at Hillcrest have died and 15 at Kimball Farms; prior to that, there were about 25 deaths at Williamstown Commons. 
 
To date, about 82 percent of the deaths from COVID-19 in Berkshire County were at the three nursing homes. 
 
As of Thursday, the number of active cases at Hillcrest was down to a dozen at both Pittsfield facilities. More than 100 patients at Hillcrest were able to recover from the coronavirus. 
 
BMC has 31 COVID-19 patients and four more awaiting tests. There have been 67 hospitalizations in past two weeks. 
 
The number cases reported statewide on Saturday was 3,995 for a total of 306,928 and deaths was 47, for a total of 11,405. The seven-day positive average rate dropped to 6.01 percent. 
 
The number of cases nationwide is now 17,631,293 and the number of deaths, 316,006.
 
Dec. 18: Dec. 18: The daily number of cases has been declining, with 19 reported Friday. The numbers have twice been less than 20 since a high of 82 on Dec. 10. 
 
Over past seven days, the average number of cases has been 26 for Berkshire County. That's down 50 percent over the week preceding, when the daily average was 62.
 
There was no break in deaths, however, with the county recording another two fatalities for a total of 116. There have been 54 deaths since Dec. 1, or 47 percent of all deaths in the county since March 1. Pittsfield has seen the most deaths, recorded at 46 on Friday, with the majority of those from Hillcrest and Kimball Farms nursing homes. 
 
The number of cases statewide blew past 300,000 on Friday with another 5,632 reported. The number of deaths was 53 for a total of 11,358. The seven-day positive average rate is now a high of 6.13 percent.
 
Nationwide, the novel coronavirus continues to spread unimpeded with nearly 17.5 million cases to date, and a total of 241,014 reported Friday. The number of deaths was 312,845, with 2,898 reported Friday. 
 
Gov. Baker said the state received just under 50,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and that 6,200 people had already been vaccinated. The next shipment will be less than ordered  the federal government is blaming Pfizer but the company says it's delivering what was ordered  but did not think that will impact the vaccine rollout since the Moderna vaccine was authorized for use on Friday. Health-care workers, long-term care facilities and first-responders are first in line for the vaccine.
 
Dec. 17: The number of deaths reported was two for a total of 114; the number of cases 30, for a total of 2,360. The number of active cases at Hillcrest Commons had dropped dramatically to 15 as of Dec. 16; Kimball Farms is down to 14. Williamstown Commons has seen an uptick in active cases to 22 after months of being clear following a deadly outbreak at the beginning of the pandemic. 
 
The number of cases statewide was 4,985 for a total of 296,301 and 44 deaths, for 11,305 to date. The seven-day average positive rate was 6.02 percent. More than 17 million are infected nationwide and more than 309,000 have died. 
 
Dec. 16: The county's number of new cases was 34, the sixth day in a row the numbers have been under 40. The number of deaths, however, jumped by seven to a total of 112. 
 
While the county's numbers appear to be stabilizing, and possibly declining, the state's number of new cases remain high at 5,450 for a total of 292,316 to date. The number of deaths was 71 statewide, bringing the number to date to 11,261. 
 
The number of patients at BMC is at 25, with four pending tests. Statewide, more than 1,800 are hospitalized, nearly 400 of whom are in intensive care units. 
 
The seven-day average positive rate increased to 6.03 percent, nearly eight times what it was in late summer. 
 
In good news, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNtech has made its way to the Berkshires and Southern Vermont. SVMC began inoculating its staff, with the first person being Dr. Anne Marie Swann of Williamstown. BMC expects to begin its inoculations on Thursday. 
 
 
 
Dec. 15: The county recorded 30 new cases for a total now of 2,296 and two more deaths, for a total of 105. The state's seven-day positive average rate is 5.88 and the number of new cases statewide is 3,720 for a total of 286,866. The number of deaths were 55 for a total of 11,190.
 
The number of cases worldwide passed 73 million with 1.6 million reported deaths. 
 
BMC was expected to receive its first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine on Tuesday. 
 
 
Dec. 14: The deadly outbreak at Hillcrest Commons may finally be on the wane. As of Monday, the nursing home reported 49 active patient cases, down from more than 130 at the beginning of the month. Its sister site, Kimball Farms Nursing Care, has seen its numbers drop to 21, almost by half. More than 30 patients from Hillcrest have died and four more from Kimball Farms, accounting for the majority of deaths in Pittsfield since Thanksgiving. 
 
On Monday, two more deaths in Berkshire County were recorded for a total of 103 and 37 statewide. There were 14 new cases in the county, which may point to a decline. The numbers of new cases have consistently dropped over the past four days but, being Monday, that may be because of a backlog in testing. 
 
The number of deaths nationwide passed the 300,000 mark; there have been more than 16.5 million cases to date. 
 
BMC was expected to receive its first vaccine doses on Monday. The hospital has seen a decline in its positive test rate at 4.6, down from 7.6 percent over two weeks. There are 31 patients with six awaiting tests and 40 total on precautions.
 
Dec. 13: Another four deaths were recorded to bring the number of county fatalities to date to 101. The number of new cases was 24, for a total of 2,252. 
 
The seven-day average test rate is 5.61 and the number of deaths statewide, 41. There have now been 11,098 deaths statewide and 279,574 positive cases. The Pfizer vaccine has received emergency authorizations and the first doses are expected to be delivered to BMC this week. 
 
Dec. 12: The number of deaths went up by two on Saturday, to 97 to date. The number of new cases was 30. 
 
There were 4,968 new cases statewide for a total of 274,897 to date. The number of deaths was 47, bringing the total to 11,057 . The seven-day positive average rate was 5.60 percent. The national number of positive cases passed 16 million and the number of deaths now stands at 297,575.
 
Dec. 11: Another four deaths were recorded in Berkshire County, bringing the total deaths to date to 95. Nearly a third of the fatalities are related to the deadly outbreak at Hillcrest Commons. As of Thursday, the long-care term facility has seen its active patient cases drop to 76; its total cases are at 171. 
 
Unfortunately, its sister site, Kimball Farms Nursing Care has seen its numbers swell to 28 and it has had at least four deaths. Williamstown Commons is up to 10 cases after being at zero for months following an outbreak early in the pandemic.
 
The number of new cases in the county is 40 and the total number since March is 2,198. The state saw 5,476 new cases for a total of 269,929. The seven-day positive average rate is 5.72 percent. 
 
More than 1,600 people are hospitalized across the state. BMC has 36 patients and has had 79 in the last two weeks. Overall, there have been 206 hospitalizations, including three at Fairview; there were 29 readmissions and 36 deaths in the hospital. 
 
Dec. 10: Deaths climbed again in the county with four, bringing the total to 91. That's 39 just since Nov. 24 and most have come from the outbreak at Hillcrest Commons. There were another 82 positive cases reported for a total of 2,158 to date. 
 
Statewide the numbers were 41 deaths and 5,130 infections statewide. The seven-day average positive test rate is 5.67. The number of cases in the once low-transmission Berkshire County prompted the state to finally open free community testing through the Stop the Spread program, reportedly largely at the strong urging of the Berkshire delegation. Berkshire Health Systems reports this testing sites are now open for asymptomatic testing although you must make and appointment. 
 
The national numbers are now 15,586,978 infections and 291,929 deaths, with the nations recording a Pearl Harbor's worth of casualties every day.
Dec. 9: The number of deaths continues to rise in the Berkshires with six reported on Wednesday for a total of 87 to date. 
 
Hillcrest Commons has seen 29 deaths so far from a major outbreak of COVID-19.
 
The number of active cases dropped  to 86 patients, from a high of more than 130 at once, and 45 employees. So far, 171 residents have contracted the virus and 76 employees. Kimball Farms Nursing Care has had four deaths. Its numbers are now 32 active cases, for a total of 56, and eight employees.  
 
The county recorded 51 new cases for a total of 2,076, and the state, 5,675. The seven-day positive average rate is now 5.86. 
 
The governor also announced that vaccine distribution is expected to begin this month with the priority on health-care workers and long-term care patients. BMC is one of 21 hospitals among  the first to begin receiving the vaccine. 
 
Dec. 8: There were four local deaths for the second day in a row, bringing the total to 81; there have been 28 deaths since Nov. 24, or 35 percent of all deaths since March. Pittsfield has had 33 deaths, 27 of those since Nov. 24.
 
The total number of cases in the county is now 2,025 and, in Pittsfield, 1,000. The seven-day positive test rate is now 5.81 and the state saw 3,627 new cases for a total of 253,649 to date.
 
BMC has 35 patients and has had 65 in the last 14 days. Eleven patients are pending tests. Hillcrest Commons now has 126 cases and Kimball Farms Nursing Home, 37.
 
The increase in cases lead state officials to roll back the reopening plan to Step 1 of Phase 3. This reduces occupancy rates to 40 percent, closes performance venues and limits dining to six people at a table for 90 minutes.
 
Dec. 7: The county recorded another four deaths, bringing the total 77 but only 15 new cases. This being Monday, however, may contribute to the low number; it sometimes takes a day for weekend data to catch up. 
 
The high transmission rate in the Berkshires has lead the state to work with Berkshire Health Systems to beef up testing. The Stop the Spread campaign will open three sites with free testing next week.  
 
Gov. Charlie Baker in his remarks on Monday also pointed to the Thanksgiving holiday as a cause for the recent surge in cases statewide. 
 
"If you track our data, after some of the regulations we put in place in early November, you can see positive test rates stop growing day over day for 10 days," Baker said. "And about five to seven days after Thanksgiving, they took off like a rocket."
 
Statewide, the number of new cases also dropped, to 2,463 for a total of 250022 to date, and 30 deaths. There are now more than 1,500 people hospitalized. 
 
Dec. 6: The county has twice in less than two weeks registered five or more deaths: five on Nov. 29 and six on Dec. 6. Those are the highest numbers since five were recorded on a single day back in April. There have now been 21 deaths since Nov. 24 and 73 total since March. 
 
The were 53 positive cases reported, bringing the total to 1,954 to date. The state numbers were 4,474 cases and 48 deaths. The nationwide number of total cases is closing in on 15 million with between 150,000 and 200,000 recorded daily and around 2,000 deaths every day. 
 
Worldwide, there have been 1.5 million deaths form COVID-19.
 
 
 
Dec. 5: The county recorded two deaths bringing the total to 68, and 100 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. 
 
The county recorded 1,085 cases between Nov. 5 and Dec. 5; that is a 125 percent increase on the number of cases between March and November and 58 percent of all cases to date.
 
The seven-day positive rate average is 5.40 percent and the state recorded 5,356 new cases and 41 deaths. 
 
Dec. 4: There was no death recorded in Berkshire County for the first time in nine days; the total so far remains at 66. The number of positive tests also took a slight dip at 23 — it had been double that or more that past week.
 
The toll in Pittsfield has increased: after holding at six for months, the city has now recorded 23. Seventeen of these deaths, or more than 2/3, have occurred since since Nov. 24. Pittsfield has 609 confirmed active cases and the Pittsfield Public Schools have now suspended in-person learning until such time as the positivity rate drops below 3 percent again. 
 
The Pittsfield schools have been remote since Nov. 12; also this week the Southern Berkshire Regional School District on Thursday evening decided it will remain remote until after next year's Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
 
The number of hospitalizations at BMC has jumped to 34 with five more pending tests. The number of deaths at the hospital is now 22.
 
The number of positive tests statewide for Friday is 5,192 and the number of deaths, 37. More than 1,300 people are now hospitalized and the state this week setup the DCU Center in Worcester again for any overflow patients. 
 
The seven-day positive test rate average is 5.44 percent, the second day in row it has been more than 5 percent.
 
Dec. 3: The Berkshires registered a death from COVID-19 for the eighth consecutive day. There have now been 14 deaths reported since Nov. 24; 21 percent of all deaths so far have occurred over the past week. The longest period without a death was 46 days in late summer.
 
The number of positive cases for the county was 52 and for the state, 6,477. However, the daily dashboard indicated that 680 tests reported positive on Dec. 3 had actually been done by one laboratory prior to Dec. 1.  The delay in reporting was caused by a technical issue with the software used by that laboratory's reporting vendor.
 
That could lower the seven-day positive test rate average, which broke 5 percent. Anything under that is considered the benchmark for considering any broad reopening, according to the World Health Organization. Massachusetts had long been considered at low level by holding its average well below 5 percent, along with Vermont. As of Wednesday, Vermont was at 1.9 percent although it has seen its daily case numbers rising, with 101 reported Wednesday.
 
BMC now has 29 COVID-19 patients and 33 on precautions. It has seen 43 patients over the last 14 days and 158 since March 1. Twenty of the county's deaths have so far occurred in the hospital. The largest cluster of infections is still at Hillcrest Commons, which now has 132 current positive patients and 60 employees. The numbers at Kimball Farms Nursing Care have also ticked up to 33 patients and four employees. Both Lenox and Pittsfield are in the "red zone" for high average daily rates. 
 
Dalton, Great Barrington, Lanesborough and North Adams are yellow; Adams and Lee are in green; and the rest of the towns are lowest in gray. 
 
Statewide, more than 1,300 people are hospitalized and more than 260 are in ICUs. The average age of deaths is 81 and hospitalizations is 68; the largest number of infections is in the 20-29 age bracket with 6,876 between Nov. 15-28, followed closely by up to age 19 with 5,891 cases. 
 
The number of cases nationwide surpassed 14 million and the number of deaths, 275,000. 
 
 
Dec. 2: There were 83 cases reported in Berkshire County, the largest daily number to date. The closest was 82 reported on Nov. 24. 
 
The county also registered another death bringing the total to 65. More county residents have died in the past week than in the prior 5 1/2 months. 
 
The numbers have pushed Pittsfield once again into the red zone, with 489 current active cases and a total case number of 723. There have been 15 deaths in Pittsfield; nine have occurred over the past week, or nearly 70 percent of county deaths since Nov. 24.
 
The number of confirmed COVID-19 patients at BMC has risen to 26 with 32 on precautions and five pending tests.
 
Statewide, the number of daily cases nearly doubled with 4,613 reported for 225,787 to date. There were 46 deaths for 10,588 to date. 
 
The number of low-risk states for travel is now down to one: Hawaii. Any other area requires isolation and/or negative COVID-19 test. 
 
A recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Controls and the Red Cross indicates that the novel coronavirus was infecting people in the United States, including Massachusetts, as early as December 2019. The first cases were identified in late January but antibodies were found in blood donated between Dec. 13, 2019, and Jan. 17, 2020, meaning these individuals had been exposed to the virus.  
 
 
Dec. 1: The number of cases in the Berkshires is again in the double digits with 43 new cases reported Tuesday and another death was reported, bringing the total to 64 deaths to date. The number of positive patients at BMC is now 23, with 28 on precautions and seven with pending tests. The hospital has had 36 patients in the last 14 days and 19 deaths since March 1.
 
Hillcrest Commons continues to carry a large caseload at 123 positive infections, but this is down four from the Monday report. 
 
In North Adams, some grades at Brayton Elementary are in full remote after a confirmed COVID-19 exposure and McCann Technical School is fully remote until Dec. 9. Mount Greylock Regional School has also switched to remote until Dec. 9 after two cases in two days. 
 
The state reported 2,845 new cases and a seven-day positive average rate of 4.61 percent. Gov. Baker on Tuesday indicated there will not be new restrictions forthcoming at the moment as there appears to be a downward trend. However, he encouraged residents to continue following pandemic protocols. 
 
 
 
Nov. 30: After more than three weeks of double-digit jumps on positive cases, the county only recorded two on Monday — although Mondays have tended to be lower because of delays in weekend reporting. However, there were two more deaths, bringing the total to 63. There have now been 11 deaths in less than a week and the same number that occurred between June and November.  
 
There are 18 patients now at Berkshire Medical Center, and nine awaiting test results. The situation at Hillcrest Commons continues to worsen with 127 resident cases and 46 employees. Kimball Farms Nursing Care now has 30 resident infections and six employee. 
 
The state reported 1,166 new cases for more than 218,000 to date; there were 25 deaths for a total of 10,512. The seven-day positive test rate average is now 3.93 percent. 
 
Nationally, there have been more than 13.5 million positive cases and more than 267,000 deaths. 
 
 
Nov. 29: There were six deaths reported in Berkshire County, for nine deaths in less than a week and 61 total to date. There were 69 new cases, bringing the total to 1,600. 
 
More than half of the county's positive cases have occurred just in the last month. It took eight months to reach 789 cases and just 30 days to reach 811. 
 
The state seven-day positive test rate average now sits at 3.80 after dipping under 1 percent in late summer. 
 
Nov. 28: Berkshire County has seen its third death from COVID-19 in less than a week as cases continue to climb in the county. Sixty-five new cases were reported on Saturday bringing the total to to date to 1,531.
 
Pittsfield has seen its total numbers climb to 617 as of Friday and the number of deaths in the city to 14 after holding at six for many months. 
 
The number of cases in North Adams has jumped by more than a dozen as of Nov. 27 with 21 positive tests over 14-day period. Pittsfield had 247 positive tests over two weeks ending Nov. 27.
 
The state's latest numbers had an increase of 2,914 for a total of 214,662, and 40 deaths. 
 
Nov. 27: Berkshire County recorded its second death this week over the Thanksgiving holiday and 43 new positive cases. The state reported data for both Thursday and Friday on Friday afternoon, with 4,464 new cases for a total of  211,748 statewide.
 
There have now been more than 13 million cases in the United States and deaths totaling more than 264,000. Berkshire Medical Center currently has 11 patients and has had 26 hospitalizations in the last two weeks. 
 
An infection in Hillcrest Commons appears to be driving some of the spike in county numbers; on Friday, the nursing home reported 83 current confirmed cases (for 95 total since March) in residents and 38 in employees. Kimball Farms Nursing Home in Lenox reported 27 residents infected and five employees. 
 
Pittsfield continues to the have the bulk of the positive cases at 524, of which 299 were active as of Nov. 26. The number of deaths in the city remains at 6.
 
Nov. 25: Berkshire County reported its first death from COVID-19 since Oct. 27 for a total of 53 to date. 
 
The COVID-19 Daily Dashboard was delayed on Wednesday to a technological issue. As a result, the numbers reflect case counts from up to a 30-hour period. The dashboard normally posts by 5 p.m.
 
This should be kept in mind when looking at the numbers, which show 3,224 new cases statewide and 64 in Berkshire County, for a local count of 1,432 to date.
 
Over the past two daily reporting periods, the county has seen a significant increase of 146 new cases. In contrast, there were 187 cases reported from the beginning of July to the end of October.  There have been 405 new cases within the last 14 days ending Nov. 25. Franklin County had the lowest rates transmission with 76 cases during that time period; the highest was Middlesex with 7,319.
 
There were 53 deaths statewide for a total of 10,372 to date. Nationally, new cases are being reported at a rate of nearly 200,000 a day and deaths at 2,000 daily. 
 
There will be no data reported on Thanksgiving Day; dashboard will update on Friday for both days. 
 
Nov. 24: The Berkshires saw an dramatic jump in cases on Tuesday with 82 reported. That brings the number to 1,359 to date. The daily number of statewide cases reported was a back in the 2000s for a total of 204,060 to date. The jump in both numbers may be due to a delay in reporting over the weekend. 
 
Deaths statewide was 20, with none in Berkshire County. Nearly 1,000 people remain hospitalized and more than 200 are in ICUs. There are nine patients at BMC and 13 awaiting tests. The hospital has had 21 COVID-19 patients total over the past 14 days.
 
 
Nov. 23: The county reported another 17 new cases on Monday and the state, 1,785. Deaths reported statewide was 18 but the number of patients remained more than 900 with nearly 100 people intubated. The governor again stressed the need to stay home during the pandemic, announcing a #GetBackMass campaign to remind people that the pandemic is still surging. 
 
Pittsfield may be over its most recent spike, at least the moment. The city saw its positive numbers nearly double over the past three weeks — from 264 on Nov. 1 to 500 even on Nov. 23. The first week of November the city had an average of five new cases a day; that jumped to almost 15 a day in the second and third weeks. Reported cases from Nov. 18 to the 23 has seen that drop to about four a day. 
 
 
Nov. 21 & 22: The number of total cases statewide passed the 200,000 mark over the weekend; the Berkshires reported 59 new cases for a total of 1,260 to date. The number of hospitalizations remains at more than 800 statewide and BMC has eight positive COVID-19 patients and another 14 awaiting test results. 
 
There were 43 deaths — the numbers have been hovering close to 20 a day — but Berkshire County has not had a death since Oct. 27. 
 
Public health officials continue to caution against holiday travel or having Thanksgiving with people outside your "pod" — the people you live with. Despite this, the Transportation Security Administration reported more than 3 million people had taken flights from Thursday to Saturday. 
 
Travelers are reminded that the only "low risk" areas recognized by the state of Massachusetts are Vermont and Hawaii. Anyone traveling from outside those states — including Bay Staters returning home — are required to isolate and/or get a negative COVID-19 test. 

Nov. 20: There were 19 more cases of COVID-19 reported in the county and 2,288 in the state. Nationwide, nearly 200,00 more cases were reported. The seven-day average positive test rate was 3.28 percent and more than 900 people are currently hospitalized, including a dozen at BMC. 
 
Central Berkshire is the latest school district to switch to all remote-learning, effective Monday, Nov. 23. Williams College has had 10 positive cases since August and MCLA, seven. The colleges will be ending in-person learning next week as students will not be returning after the Thanksgiving holiday. 
 
State officials continue to caution against travel over the holiday and has designated the number of "low risk" states to just two: Vermont and Hawaii. Travel to another regions will require a quarantine period and/or a negative test. Failure to comply could mean a $500 fine. 
 
More information on having a safe holiday can be found here.
 
 
Nov. 19: The once all-gray map of Berkshires is picking up color despite the state's reconfiguration of transmission rates to avoid small towns being considered "high" because of a handful of COVID-19 cases. 
 
Pittsfield remains at yellow after a spike in cases pushed it briefly into the red last week. Still, the city saw 204 new cases within the last two weeks, or nearly 42 percent of the 485 total cases to date. Some 85 of those new cases were within a three-day period. The city has a 33.2 incident rate and a 4.35 percent. North Adams, which has been in the gray for months, entered the green zone with 12 cases within two weeks, or 6.7 incidents per 100,000 people. North Adams now has 85 total cases.
 
The county's smaller towns, like Florida and Monterey, remain at 0 or less that five. Dalton, however, shifted into yellow with 18 new cases in two weeks, for 48 overall, and Lenox is green with 12 new cases for a total of 43. In both these cases the jumps in new cases were significant at 38 and 28 percent, respectively, of the total to date.
 
Adams remains at the lowest level though it has seen six new cases in 14 days and has 54 cases total. Clarksburg, which has been at 0 for many months after recording the first case last spring, has had five new cases in the last two weeks, but only 14 total. Perhaps more surprisingly, there 77 tests done for Clarksburg residents. 
 
The county saw 31 new cases reported on Thursday — it's gone from two or three a day to 20 or 30.
 
The public health data shows, over the past month, households continue to be the highest forms of transmissions with 15,980 confirmed cases from shared lodgings; over the same period, 99 cases have been traced to schools. Restaurants were slightly higher at 116 cases and travel and lodging (of which there has not been much) at 13 cases. 
 
Public health officials continue to caution against unnecessary travel and large gatherings over the holidays. A message from Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel was sent to 4.5 million phone lines across Massachusetts via the Everbridge resident connection alert system, reminding residents of that fact. The state has also removed the State of Washington, New York State and the District of Columbia from exempt travel states; anyone traveling from those areas will have to isolate for 14 days or get a negative test within 72 hours.
 
Nov. 18: The county saw another jump in cases of 50 on Wednesday as several restaurants in North County suspended in-door service for one or more days because of COVID-19 exposures. Williams College, which had seen only four cases since August, recorded three positives within 24 hours.
 
The number of hospitalizations statewide is approaching 900 while BMC still as 10 patients. The average age of hospitalization is 66 and deaths 81. Young adults continue to have the highest transmission rates with more than 6,000 in the last two weeks. 
 
Nov. 17: The state's seven-day average positive test rate posted as 3.25 percent on Tuesday, four times the rate from just two months ago. There were more than 2,200 new cases and more than 800 people hospitalized, including 10 patients in BMC. The county recorded another 20 cases for a total of 1,101. Pittsfield, which remains in the yellow, has had 400 cases total since March and 100 of those within the last 10 days. 
 
Nov. 16: The county saw another uptick with 45 cases reported on Monday for a total now of 1,072. The state saw another 1,967 new cases and a dozen deaths. 
 
Nov. 15: The number of new cases dropped to six although statewide the number was 2,076. The number of deaths was 33 statewide for a total now of 10,098. Nationwide, the number of total infections has passed 11 million and deaths 246,000.
 
Nov. 14: There were 20 new cases reported in Berkshire County and 2,841 statewide for a seven-day average positive test rate of 3.07. There were also 27 deaths but the county's toll continues at 52. 
 
More than 700 people are hospitalized, including three at BMC.
 
The largest concentration of infections of infections is the 20-29 age group, followed closely by children and 30-39-year-olds. The greatest at-risk population continues to be those who are older with the average hospitalization age of 67 and death of 80.
 
 
Nov. 13: The total number of cases in Berkshire County broke 1,000 on Friday, with 19 new cases bringing the total to 1,001. The state saw 2,674 new cases for a total of 177,627 and a seven-day average positive test rate of now more than 3 percent. There were 23 deaths and nearly 700 people hospitalized.
 
North Adams announced that Drury High School would go to fully remote learning after another case was confirmed, following Pittsfield's steps earlier in the week shifting both its high schools to remote. 
 
Pittsfield, which had been at the red level on Thursday, was shifted down to yellow. But statewide, officials are bracing for more cases with the setup of a field hospital again at the DCU Center in Worcester. All the field hospitals had been closed in June. Berkshire Medical Center currently has three patients and has had six in the past two weeks. Both BMC and Southwestern Vermont Medical Center have reinstituted restrictions on visitations. 
 
Nov. 12: Pittsfield is pulling back on school and indoor activities after cases surged over the past few weeks. All schools have moved to remote learning and table service in the county's biggest municipality has been suspended. 
 
The city's transmission level has gone to red, meaning it has a positive test rate above 5 percent and an average of more than 10 cases per 100,000. This is the highest level in the four-color chart. Because of backlog in testing, the city's active cases shot from 87 to 191 in one day, as of Nov. 10.
 
Pittsfield officials are blaming a number of parties held over Halloween and recent weeks, including at certain establishments, for the spread. 
 
North Adams has remained in the lowest category with eight new cases in the past two weeks for a total of 75 to date. The county logged 159 new cases in the past two weeks. 
 
Overall, the county saw another uptick of 29 cases reported but no further deaths. That number has been at 52 since Oct. 27. The number of deaths statewide for confirmed cases passed 10,000; another 220 deaths are considered probable COVID-19 cases but are not included in the running total. The seven-day average positive test rate is now 2.90. 
 
 
 
 
 
Nov. 11: Cases took another startling spike in Berkshire County with 50 positive cases reported — nearly 100 in just two days. Statewide the number was 2,495 and the seven-day average positive test is now 2.88. 
 
Cases of the novel coronavirus are spiking across the country, particularly in the West and Midwest, but the numbers in New England are also concerning. More than 600 people are now hospitalized and the deaths statewide are closing in on 1,000. 
 
Nationwide, there have been more than 10.3 million cases and more than 240,000 deaths. Globally, 1.3 million have died from the pandemic.
 
The number of states considered "low risk" and declined considerably. Massachusetts still considers Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, the state of Washington and Hawaii as low risk; anyone coming from other states requires a quarantine period or negative test. Vermont, however, has a quarantine advisory for anyone coming into the state. 
 
 
The website CovidExitStrategy.org, run by a group of public health and infectious disease experts, has been tracking the spread of COVID-19 and now puts all but three states in the "uncontrolled spread category." Massachusetts is labeled "uncontrolled" and Vermont as "caution warranted."
 
 
 
Nov. 10: Cases in Berkshire County jumped by 42 on Thursday, the largest in a single day since April. The day also saw the report of case of COVID-19 at Drury High School, the second in the school system. 
 
The number of cases reported statewide was again over 2,000 and the seven-day positive average rate is at 2.63 percent, more than three times that during the summer. State officials say they are prepared for a surge in hospitalizations and PPE going into winter.
 
The number of hospitalizations is now more than 600. BMC currently has three patients on COVID-19 precautions and 10 awaiting tests. 
 
Below, Pittsfield's COVID-19 average rate takes takes a steep rise since Oct. 1.
 
Nov. 9: The county saw 16 more cases reported on Monday, and 72 cases total since the first of the month. The bulk of those are coming from Pittsfield, which reported on Sunday 40 new cases Nov. 1, or 97 percent of cases between Nov. 1 and Nov. 8.
 
The number of cases nationwide passed the 10 million mark and the number of deaths, 237,000. Deaths statewide continue to creep up but not, thankfully, in proportion to new cases. There were 13 deaths reported on Monday and 1,184 new cases for a total of 167,929. The highest rates of transmission are in those ages 39 and younger while the average hospitalization age is 67 and deaths, 80. 
 
Nov. 7 & 8: The number cases continued to rise over the weekend, with 2,200 reported Saturday and 1,809 Sunday. The Berkshires' numbers also continue to rise with nine Saturday and seven Sunday morning for a total of 845.
 
The seven-day average positive rate has been 2.27 for two days in a row and 500 or more people are currently hospitalized.
 
Nov. 6: The number of new cases broke 2,000 for the first time in months and Pittsfield health officials warned of spike in cases in the county's largest community. The city has seen 46 new cases in just the last two weeks, making up the bulk of new cases countywide. 
 
The total number of new cases was 2,038 for a total to date of 162,736 and the number of deaths, 21, for a total of 9,880 statewide. The Berkshires added another 11 cases for a total of 829. The statewide seven-day average test rate is 2.11, a new high. Nationally, the total number of cases is now 9,685,815, up 141,500 since yesterday, and deaths are now at 235,601.
 
The average daily incident rate for Massachusetts is 15.3 per 100,000; it's 4.7 in Pittsfield, 3.3 in North Adams and 0.9 in Adams, the three largest communities. In comparison, the rate in Lawrence is 62.4 and Norfolk is 48.
 
New orders issued on Monday by the governor went into effect Friday morning that call for closing businesses by 9:30, a stay-at-home advisory between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and limiting indoor social gatherings to 10 and outside to 25.
 
The goal of these rules is to reduce incidents of social gatherings that are being pointed to as the main cause of the rise in cases. People are spending time together without masks or social distancing, particularly younger people who are the vast majority of the new cases. 
 
The Department of Public Health on Friday also released a new set of category levels for transmission that relies on positivity rates as well as incident numbers, depending on the population. The sea of red that's been on the community tracing map is expected to be lessened — once it's updated — and it should help small towns from being pushed into a high transmission rate status because of a couple cases.
 
The state's interactive map showing cases and levels according to the older chart went inactive on Nov. 5.
 
Nov. 5: The state again reported a new high in cases at 1,761, bringing total cases to more than 160,000. The seven-day positive test rate average jumped to 1.91 percent, or about 823 cases per 100,000 people. Berkshire County had 64 new cases and 69 total positive tests in the last two weeks. 
 
Nearly 500 people statewide are hospitalized and 108,000 recommended to isolate. 
 
The community statistics were not ready on Thursday and are expected to be released on Friday.
 
Nov. 4: The state reported 1,629 new cases on Wednesday, a new high since May. There were 27 deaths for a total of 9,836. The Berkshires saw six new cases. 
 
Nov. 3: Berkshire County added five more new cases on Tuesday and the state, 923.There were 12 deaths reported, with an average age of 81. There are fewer than 500 hospitalizations. 
 
Nov. 2: The public health dashboard was changed on Nov. 2 and apparently no longer posts the number of total individuals tested to date. On Nov. 1, that was 2,758,047. We are switching out that row for seven-day positive test rate average. 
 
The Berkshires reported its largest number of positive cases in months on Monday with 14 new cases. The number of new cases total statewide was 725. The new dashboard reports the average age of deaths (81) and the average age of hospitalizations (67).
 
The breakdown in cases by age over the past two weeks show the highest rates of transmission are from 0 to 39 years of age with a total of 7,760 cases, with age 19 and younger being the highest with 2,701. The lowest is age 70 years and older at just over 1,000. 
 
The rising number of cases, particularly in younger age groups, has prompted the governor to issue orders limiting gatherings, mandating mask usage, closing certain businesses and activities by 9:30 p.m. and setting a stay-at-home order to discourage public and private gatherings that are allowing COVID-19 to spread. 
 
Nov. 1: Nearly 100,000 new cases were reported nationwide and more than 1,100 in Massachusetts. Berkshire County reported five for a total of 789. Much of southeastern and and northeastern Massachusetts, and Boston and its environs, are in the red zone. The exceptions are the eastern part of Cape Cod and swatch of communities in the northeast that remain in the gray. 
 
All of Berkshire County, with the exception of "green" Pittsfield, is also in the gray as of Oct. 29. 
 
Oct. 30 & 31: The state recorded 2,780 positive cases over two days and 39 deaths. Nationally, there are now more than 9 million COVID-19 cases and more than 230,000 deaths. 
 
The seven-day positive rate average is now 1.9 percent and the hospitalizations remain close to 600, with more than 100 in ICUs. There is still one patient at BMC. 
 
Oct. 29: The state recorded 27 deaths and 1,243 new positive cases on Thursday. The seven-day positive average rate remains at 1.8 and there are 560 people hospitalized. Berkshire County had one case and on hospitalization.
 
The county has had 34 positive cases reported in the last 14 days for a daily incident rate of 1.9. All 13 counties registered higher rates except for Hampshire, which remained the same as last week. 
 
 
Oct. 28: The county reported six more positive cases bringing the total to 780 and the state, again, recorded more than 1,000 new cases bringing its total past 150,000 since the beginning of the pandemic. The seven-day positive rate average is at 1.8 percent, up a 129 percent since its lowest point in September. Nearly 600 people are now hospitalized and the number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths is at 9,700. 
 
Vermont is now requiring travelers from Massachusetts and many areas of New York state to isolate for 14 days. Connecticut has added the Bay State to its advisory list and requires traveler to fill out a form and provide proof of a negative COVID-19 or isolate for 14 days. 
 
Oct. 27: The Berkshires has recorded another death, the first since Oct. 5, bringing the total to 52. The county has also seen another high in the number of positive cases reported at nine, with 32 cases of COVID-19 in the past week. Pittsfield has now had 13 cases between Friday and Monday. Mayor Linda Tyer said the city had been averaging less than five new cases in a two-week period. The age range for Pittsfield's weekend cases was between 16 and 78. 
 
The seven-day average positive rate is 1.7 percent and Tuesday was the fifth day of having more than 1,000 cases reported. New York is advising its residents not to travel to Massachusetts. 
 
Public health officials on Tuesday said many of the newer cases are the result of people gathering socially or at sports without following protocols. Gov. Baker on Tuesday urged people to mask up and social distance. The state also issued guidance on Thanksgiving. 
 
Oct. 26: The number of cases statewide rose to 1,216 on Monday as a dozen communities were told to pull back to Step 1 of the Phase III reopening. The seven-day average has risen to 1.6 percent, more than twice the lowest average two months ago, and some 550 people are reported hospitalized, including one patient at BMC. 
 
More than 60 communities, or nearly 20 percent of the state's 321 cities and towns, are coded in the red for having greater than eight cases per 100,000 people. Pittsfield is in the green, the second lowest level of transmission, and the nearest community in the red zone is Buckland, which was raised to that level last week.
 
The closest municipality to the Berkshires pushed back to Step 1 is Holyoke; also added to the list are Acushnet, Brockton, Chelmsford, Hudson, Kingston, Leicester, Malden, Plymouth, Randolph, Waltham, Webster and Woburn. There are now 39 total at Step 1, including Boston. 
 
 
Oct. 24 & 25: The state has seen two days of 1,000-plus positive cases and 32 deaths. Berkshire County has seen its case number jump by 14, 10 of those cases on Sunday. 
 
The seven-day average positive rate is 1.5 percent and more than 500 people remain hospitalized. 
 
Oct. 23: 968 new cases were reported statewide and 19 deaths. The seven-day average positive rate is at 1.4 percent and the number of hospitalizations remains above 500. The Berkshires had three new cases. 
 
Oct. 21 & 22: Pittsfield has moved into the green level for recording five positive cases in the last two weeks. The rest of the county remains in the gray, with North Adams reporting two cases for a total of 65 since March. 
 
The state reported 986 new cases on Thursday, the highest daily number since May. More than 500 remain hospitalized and 100 are in ICUs statewide. The state's weekly report, now coming out on Thursdays, shows splashes of red over the eastern and central parts of the Bay State. Boston had ordered its schools to revert to remote learning and Salem has canceled Halloween. 
 
"I think the most of the guidance that I hear from the public health folks around here ... is that the fall is going to be a lot more difficult than the summer for all the obvious reasons," Gov. Baker said on Wednesday. "I do believe we are in a much better position to deal with this issue now, because we are doing so much more testing and tracing, because we aren't worrying about PPE, and because our long-term care communities are in much better shape."
 
 
Oct. 20: Positive cases remain high with more than 800 reported on Tuesday and more than 500 hospitalizations statewide. Berkshire County reported two more cases and no deaths; there were five deaths reported statewide. 
 
There are now 10 states considered as "low risk" and not requiring a two-week quarantine: California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont and the state of Washington. Note that Rhode Island is not one of those states with a seven-day average positive test rate below 5 percent and daily cases less than 10 per 100,000. 
 
Oct. 19: The Berkshires saw four more positive cases reported Monday but no hospitalizations. Statewide cases were up more than 800 and hospitalizations remain at about 500. The seven-day average for positive cases is 1.2 percent, up from a low of 0.8 percent on Sept. 23. 
 
Oct. 18: The number of total state cases has passed 140,000 and more than 2.5 million Bay State residents have been tested for COVID-19. Berkshire County numbers are unchanged. 
 
Oct. 17: The state recorded 550 new cases and 21 deaths. Berkshire County had one new case. The number of deaths nationwide passed 219,000.
 
Oct. 16: The number of positive COVID-19 cases in the county passed 8 million and the number of deaths stands at more than 218,000. The Berkshires reported no change in numbers but the state overall saw 700 new cases (more than double what had been recorded in August) and 30 deaths. 
 
The seven-day positive rate average has crept up to 1.4 percent, and 82 percent increase over its lowest value and more than 500 people are hospitalized, including 33 on ventilators. 
 
 
Oct. 15: The seven-day positive and three-day hospitalization averages are up 70 percent and 67 percent, respectively, from their most recent lows. In contrast, the Berkshires continues to be in the lowest levels of transmission, with two new cases reported on Thursday, no hospitalizations, and no deaths since Oct. 4. A positive case in the North Adams Public Schools has not spread and the everyone in contact with the case are cleared to return on Monday, Oct. 19. 
 
Oct. 14: the state's seven-day positive has crept up to 1.2 percent after more than a month at 1 or less. Gov. Baker has blamed the rising number of cases on younger people who are not sticking to social distancing rules. He also on Wednesday turned a question about the state's high per capita death rate to discussion of how the various states should be formulating standards for reporting deaths. 
 
The state death rate for COVID-19 has seemed low — fewer than 20 a day for several months compared to positive cases in the hundreds. 
 
The Boston Globe reported Wednesday that the rate of 5.69 per 100,000 people is six times that of New York State at 0.96, and higher than all of the other New England, New York and New Jersey combined.
 
"Different states do different things with respect to how they test for COVID and comorbidities with respect to how they write those death certificates," the governor said. "There's a lot of variability here. And I think, as an academic exercise, we are going to take seriously the idea of maybe trying to find somebody to do a study on this, not just for today, but for reporting on issues like this going forward."
 
The rising number of cases can be seen in this week's public health map that shows far more red — the highest levels of transmission — than the past few weeks. Berkshire County and much of Western Mass is in the gray zone, the lowest level. The college town of Amherst, and Holyoke, Springfield, East Longmeadow and Sunderland are all in the red.
 
 
Oct. 13: Berkshire County added two more cases total and the state, 632. More than 215,000 Americans have now died because of the novel coronavirus and more than 7.8 million have been infected.
 
The administration has announced a $171 million in investment to aid landlords and tenants as the moratorium on evictions expires Saturday.
 
Oct 9-12: The number of positive cases reported daily has climbed to levels not seen since late May and early June. There was just under 2,000 cases reported between Friday and Monday, with 765 on Monday morning. The number of deaths, however, remains relatively low at 48 since Friday. The three-day average of patients is now over 500 although there are no patients in Berkshire County. The county's death and case count has not changed since Saturday morning.
 
Oct. 8: Cases and hospitalizations continue to remain in higher numbers, with more than 480 patients statewide. The seven-day positive case average, however, is still about 1 percent. There is one non-ICU patient at BMC. 
 
The North Adams Public Schools reported its first case of COVID-19; the classroom where the individual had been was cleaned and those in proximity were contacted, according to school officials. 
 
Oct. 7: The Mount Greylock Regional School District will not have to revert to all remote as the state's latest figures shows that all of Berkshire County is now in the gray, or lowest, level of COVID-19 cases. Williamstown had been twice in the yellow in the past two weeks and, at week three in yellow, would have had to transition to all remote. 
 
Hospitalizations have continued to increase, with more than 500 statewide, but the seven-day average of positive cases continues at 1.1 percent.
 
Oct. 6: Local numbers have not changed since yesterday. The hospitalizations remain at more than 400 with one patient in the ICU at BMC. The seven-day average positive test rate is 1.1 percent, which it has been at for about a week. 
 
Oct. 5: Berkshire County has had another death, bringing the total to date to 51. This is the fifth death since Sept. 13, just over three weeks. Prior to that, there had not been a death in more than five weeks. 
 
The number of recorded positive cases has also continued to climb with 465 reported on Monday. The number of hospitalizations statewide has been more than 400 daily for more than a week and in the high 300s for nearly two weeks before that. The seven-day  positive case rate has is 1.1 percent.
 
Oct. 3 & 4: The registered more than 1,200 new cases over two days, passing the 130,000 mark, and 20 deaths. The Berkshires recorded five new cases. 
 
Oct. 2: The number of new cases was 753 on Friday and the seven-day average is now at 1.1 percent. Berkshire County recorded two new cases. There were 10 deaths statewide. 

Oct. 1: The number of new cases has continued to increase with 708 the highest in months  reported on Thursday. The seven-day average is now more than 1 percent, significant rise after more than a month below a percentage point. 
 
The total number of positive cases in the state passed 130,000 and more than 2.2 million people have been tested. In the Berkshires, the number of deaths and cases has not changed. 
 
Sept. 30: The number of deaths statewide jumped to 32, the highest single count in some time. Hospitalizations remain high as well, at more than 400, and six hospitals are using surge capacity. Berkshires' numbers remain low but Williamstown is at the yellow level for the second week in a row. Pittsfield is now at green after being in the gray for two weeks. The total number of cases in Williamstown is 96, with five in the past two weeks for a average daily incidence of 4.8. Pittsfield has a total of 232, also with five in the past two weeks and an average daily incidence of 0.8.
 
 
 
Sept. 29: The number of people who have died from complications of COVID-19 has passed the 1 million mark. Eight more deaths have been recorded in Massachusetts for a total of 9,210 and the number of positive cases is 129,243 total. The numbers have continued to tick up with more than 440 hospitalized and a seven-day average of just now 1 percent. There were four new cases in the Berkshires but no hospitalizations.
 
The cases tend to be clustered in certain areas and the governor is allowing those communities with low transmission rates, like in the Berkshires, to enter Step 2 of Phase III. This allows for occupancy rates of 50 percent indoors and out, the opening of some indoor recreational facilities and the opening of all retail fitting rooms. 
 
Sept. 28: Berkshire County recorded its fourth death in just over two weeks after having two deaths in a two-month period over the summer. Two more positive cases were also reported, bringing the total number since early March to 713. There are two patients at BMC as the number of hospitalizations statewide continues to rise at more than 400. The average hospitalizations had been in the low 300s in late August. The seven-day average of positive cases remains below 1 percent. 
 
Williams College reports one positive case, an employee or faculty, in the last seven days for a total of four since testing began Aug. 17. MCLA also reports another positive test, also bringing its count to four.
 
Sept. 27: The number of cases and hospitalizations statewide continues to rise with 594 positive test results reported today and 408 people hospitalized. Berkshire County reported four new cases and there are two patients at BMC. The number of deaths is now 9,191 for Massachusetts and more than 204,000 nationwide.
 
Sept. 26: The numbers in Berkshire County have not changed. The state reported 515 confirmed positive tests. The seven-day average has stayed under 1 percent but ticked up from 0.8 to 0.9. Hospitalizations statewide are also higher than the beginning of the month with 354 at present. 
 
Sept. 25: The total number of positive cases passed the 7 million mark and the number of dead nationwide is more than 203,000. Two more cases were added in Berkshire County and 454 statewide. There 10 deaths reported in Massachusetts. 
 
Attorney General Maura Healey announced that the superintendent and medical Director of the Holyoke Soldiers' Home are being charged with neglect and bodily harm related to five patients at the nursing home. She said investigations are ongoing at other long-term facilities. 
 
Sept. 24: The state reported 15 deaths and 455 new cases statewide. Berkshire County's count dropped by one. The number of hospitalizations remain high at 375, with 29 people intubated. There are no patients at BMC. Both Williams College and MCLA remain at three cases each. 
 
Sept. 23: Gov. Baker announced Phase III modifications for restaurants starting Monday, Sept. 28. Eateries will be able to seat parties of up to 10 and restaurant bar seating will be permitted with social distancing protections in place. "No standing around the bar," Baker admonished at press conference at which the changes were announced. 
 
Free COVID-19 testing was also extended to Oct. 31 in 18 high priority that includes Holyoke and Springfield. 
 
The number of deaths statewide was reported at 17 and the number of new cases 532. Statewide hospitalizations remain in the mid-300s but there are no patients in Berkshire County. 
 
Two communities  Great Barrington and Williamstown — have shifted to yellow on the state's daily incidence rate for having between four and eight positive cases. Williamstown had six positives (presumably from the outbreak at Pine Cobble School) over the past two weeks and Great Barrington, eight.
 
 
 
Sept. 22: The number of deaths related to COVID-19 passed the 200,000 mark nationwide. The toll in Massachusetts was 11, for a total of 9,118 to date. There were two more positive cases reported in Berkshire County but no hospitalizations. The CDC released its guidance for Halloween and towns are expected to make decisions regarding the holiday in the next few weeks.
 
Sept. 21: Berkshire County has added one new case and the state, 244. There were seven reported deaths. The seven-day average remains at 0.8.
 
Sept. 20: The number of cases in Berkshire County has not changed and BMC no longer has a patient. The state reported 15 new deaths for a total to date of 9,100.
 
Sept. 19: The state report has reduced the total number of Berkshire County cases by one, bringing it down to 701. There is one patient at BMC and the number of hospitalizations statewide has increased to that of late August (more than 360) after trending downward for several weeks. The seven-day average of positive cases remains at 0.8 percent but 569 new cases were recorded out of more than 21,000 tests. 
 
Sept. 18: The number of cases in Berkshire County jumped by 10 on Friday, the largest spike since a one-day increase of 23 on June 1. One student at Berkshire Community College reportedly tested positive on Wednesday, Sept. 16. There has been one more death: the total number increased to 49 on Thursday even though no single death was reported. The number on Friday was still 49. The number of hospitalizations has also crept up with the three-day average at 356 and five hospitals using surge capacity. There are 338 patients with  62 in ICU and 25 who are intubated. There are no patients in Berkshire County. 
 
Sept. 17: The number of total individuals tested statewide passed 2 million on Wednesday and the number of deaths totaled 9,051. The seven-day average remained below 1 percent but the number of new cases was 419. Gov. Baker on Thursday urged citizens to get a flu shot as a way to support health-care workers. 
 
Sept. 16: The county has reported its second death in four days after weeks of registering no fatalities from the novel coronavirus. The death toll is now 48 and the number of total cases 690 with the addition of three new cases. There have been no new cases at the local colleges and The number of deaths statewide is reported at 9,036. In good news, all of Berkshire County is now in the gray; both the cities had been green and Williamstown had been in the yellow last week.
 
Sept. 15: The number of total COVID-19 cases in Berkshire County continue to increase by two or three a day and currently stands at 687. This is not the number of active cases but rather the number of positives since March. There are no hospitalizations in Berkshire County. Berkshire Healthcare reports two employees testing positive as of Sept. 13 but no residents. The number of deaths statewide is reported as six. 
 
Sept. 14: The state reported nine new deaths. More than 3 million tests have been completed and the number of positives since March is 123,139. The seven-day average of positives tests remains under 1 percent. There were no changes in the colleges' positive numbers but Pine Cobble School opted to return to remote for two weeks after a teacher tested positive.
 
Sept. 13: The county reported its first death from COVID since July 30, bringing the total to date to 47. The state's number of deaths passed 9,000, with 14 reported deaths, bringing its total 9,001. The total number of deaths nationwide is 194,021.
 
 
 
Sept. 11 & 12: The county has had four more new cases over the past two days, including one each at the two North County colleges. Williams has completed 8,327 tests and had three positives, one in the last 24 hours. MCLA has completed 728 tests total and had two positives. Both colleges are set up to isolate students who test positive. 
 
There have been 30 deaths over two days and 878 new cases. The seven-day average continues under 1 percent although hospitalizations have ticked up slightly. There are no patients in Berkshire County. 
 
Sept. 10: The state has moved Williamstown up from gray to yellow, or moderate risk, based on five positive cases; however, the town is refuting that, saying it's case count is one. For more see our story here. North Adams and Pittsfield remain as green, or low risk, and the number of total cases since March for the entire county is 676, with 12 cases reported since Sept. 1. The state reported 20 deaths and 363 confirmed new cases. The seven-day average has been less than 1 percent since Sept. 1. Both Williams College and MCLA have reported two cases each since testing began. 
 
Sept. 9: The U.S. COVID-19 death rate passed 190,000 on Wednesday and 6.35 million positive cases. Massachusetts saw four deaths and 182 new cases, although total testing is still down at more than 11,000. The Berkshires had four new cases and BMC reports one hospitalization. North Adams has had five new cases in the past two weeks and Pittsfield nine.
 
Sept. 8: The number of tests reported was still about half that of a normal day, with less than 10,000 completed, and the number of new cases also low at 168. The number of deaths was eight; Berkshire County's numbers remained the same. The number of hospitalizations across the state has not significantly changed since about mid-August. As of Tuesday morning, there were 328 patients, of which 47 were in ICUs and 24 were intubated. 
 
To date, more women than men have died (46 percent/54 percent) and 98 percent of those who died had at least one underlying condition that made them more susceptible to the virus. "Underlying condition" is a broad term covering a range of chronic health conditions; about 60 percent of all Americans have at least one chronic condition and more than 78 percent of all Americans age 55 and older.  
 
Sept. 7: The numbers reported to the state were low, with only about half as many tests results completed, likely because of the Labor Day holiday. There were eight deaths reported statewide; Berkshire County has not had a death since July 30.
 
Sept. 6: There were 10 new deaths and 370 new positive cases. The Berkshires saw its confirmed numbers drop by 2 and hospitalizations go back to zero. 
 
Sept. 4 & 5: The state reported 22 deaths on Friday and 15 on Saturday for a total of 8,907 to date. The seven-day average for positive cases remains low although Pittsfield has seen a slight uptick over the past two weeks. The number of total positive cases statewide how exceeds 120,000. BMC has one patient hospitalized with COVID-19; Williams College has completed more than 4,800 tests with one positive result.
 
Sept. 3: There were 17 deaths reported statewide; the seven-day positive average remains low at about 1 percent. There is one patient at BMC and about 300 more hospitalizations across the state. Williams College has completed 3,810 tests to date with one positive. MCLA has completed 547 tests with a positive rate of 0.58 percent, or three; by comparison North Adams is 0.70 percent and Pittsfield 0.77.
 
Sept. 2: The state reported 22 deaths and 288 new cases, but none in Berkshire County. BMC is reporting two cases in the hospital, neither of which is in ICU. The state report is also using updated guidelines on reporting per CDC that more narrowly define "probable" case criteria. These new definitions do not appear to have significantly changed the state's data but has created a "probable" category not reportable to the CDC.
 
Sept. 1: The state reported four deaths and a seven-day positive test rate average that continues at 1 percent. The number of new cases in the county is three and the number of hospitalizations at BMC is now one. Out of 2,576 tests given at Williams College to date, there has been only one positive. 
 
 
Aug. 31: The number of total positive cases of COVID-19 has passed 6 million in the United States and deaths more than 183,000. The Berkshires' numbers remain low at 662 since March and 46 deaths — a number that has not changed in more than a month. Mass MoCA reported its first possible case — two tests proved inconclusive —but follow up through contact tracing has found no spread. MCLA began welcoming a much reduced student body that will be tested weekly through September. However, there are three cases (none in ICU) at Berkshire Medical Center, the first hospitalizations in several weeks.
 
Aug. 30: The seven-day average on positive tests has dropped below 1 percent. One new positive case has been reported in Berkshire County and Williams College has reported its first positive case. There were 13 deaths reported statewide and 174 positive cases out of about 16,500 tests.
 
Aug. 29: The state reported a dozen new deaths and 421 positive cases of COVID-19. The total number of cases in the Berkshires is now 660 with five new cases reported. 
 
Aug. 28: There were 16 deaths reported and the average number of hospitalizations remains in the low 300s. There was a spike in the percent of positive tests on Thursday at 3.5 but the seven-day average remains at about 1 percent. There were 438 new positive cases out of 23,716 tests.
 
Aug. 27: The state reported 20 deaths; the number of positives cases was more than 300 but the volume of tests has increased dramatically, to more than 20,000 on a regular basis. This has brought the seven-day average to about 1 percent. The Williams College dashboard reports no cases since testing on campus began last week. More than 2,000 tests have been completed by the college
 
Aug. 26: The seven-day average continues at about 1.1 percent; the number of deaths was 26 statewide and crossed the 180,000 mark nationwide. . 
 
Aug. 25: The number of positives was 349, higher than it has been, but the number of deaths was 12. Berkshire County's positive numbers have been creeping up — about 20 just over the past week or so — after being adjusted downward at the beginning of the month. The seven-day average for the state remains low at 1.1 percent and more than 1.6 million residents have been tested to date and more than 2.2 million tests have been administered. 
 
Aug. 24: Report includes weekend numbers: Berkshire County increases positive cases by eight, the state up 571. Twenty-seven deaths were reported over the weekend. The seven-day averages hovers around 1.1 percent and hospitalizations have taken a dip over the past week after averaging in the high 300s since early July, with 308 hospitalizations (none in the Berkshires.)
 
Aug. 23: No dashboard report because the DPH data portal is being transitioned to the cloud. Saturday's report will be included with Sunday's on Monday morning. 
 
Aug. 22: There were 109 positive cases out of 8,301 tests reported Saturday and 20 deaths. The seven-day average has dropped to 1.1 percent. 
 
Aug. 21: There were 13 new deaths reported and an uptick in cases at 431, but there was also an increase in tests at more than 26,000. 
 
Aug. 20: The state recorded 12 deaths and 262 new cases. So far, more than 1.5 million Massachusetts residents have been tested for COVID-19.
 
Aug. 19: The state dashboard provided numbers per county, with Berkshire County going up by six new cases over the past week to 632. There were 28 deaths reported statewide, none in the county. The state Department of Public Health published new requirements on Wednesday mandating flu vaccines by December for students and children in day care. The vaccine is necessary to start school or day care in January 2021.
 
Aug. 18: There were six deaths reported today and 175 cases. 
 
Aug. 17: Four new deaths were reported and 213 new cases in the state. The death toll nationally has passed 170,000.
 
Aug. 16: Eleven new deaths were reported and the seven-day positive rate remains at 1.4 percent. There have been more than 114,000 confirmed cases and 372 are currently hospitalized outside of Berkshire County.
 
Aug. 15: The state reported 14 new deaths and 366 new positive cases. Almost 23,000 tests were done on Friday. The percentage of positive cases continues to drop, and was calculated as 1.4 percent for Friday. Hospitalizations remain flat and Berkshire Health Systems reports no hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
 
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. 
 
July 27: Seven deaths were reported on Monday and the number of hospitals using surge capacity dropped to zero after rising to seven just four days ago. The seven-day positive test rate stayed at 1.9 percent and the governor expanded testing to eight communities where an increase in COVID-19 has been identified, including Springfield and Agawam. BayState Health reported a hotspot of 36 cases after an employee returned from a hotspot and didn't properly mask. 
 
July 26: 19 deaths were reported. The seven-day average in positive tests continues to tick up with 273 new cases. The test rate is now 1.9 percent, where it was at the beginning of the month.
 
July 25: There were 12 deaths reported. New cases was again more than 200 and the seven-day average has ticked up to 1.8 percent.
 
July 24: There were 14 deaths reported and more than 200 new cases. The Berkshires' count jumped by seven to 636 after weeks of increasing by ones or twos. The six health criteria have not changed and continue to be "positive trend" or in progress to a positive trend. The islands have the  lowest rates per 100,000, followed by Berkshire, Barnstable and Franklin and Hampshire counties.
 
July 23: The number of was reported at 16 but  the state saw an uptick in positive cases at 270. The number of COVID-19 overall passed 4 million nationwide.
 
July 22: The number of cases in Berkshire County continue to tick up in ones and twos, with a count of 626 to date. However, there has not been a death in the county since July 3. The state reported 18 deaths statewide.
 
July 21: The rate of reported deaths continues on the decline with 17 on Tuesday. The three-day average is down 94 percent since April. New cases reported were 165, in line with the last couple of weeks of  fewer than 200. The seven-day average test rate remains at 1.7 percent; Berkshire County has the lowest rates per 100,000 population. BMC has one patient, who is not in ICU.
 
July 20: The state reported one death. 
 
July 19: The state reported 12 deaths.
 
July 18: 17 new deaths were reported today; the number hospitals using surge capacity has been five or six over the past few days, up from 2 around the July 4 holiday.
 
July 17: The state passed the 1 million mark in residents tested for COVID-19; 21 deaths were reported. The three-day average of hospitalizations has continued to drop and the seven-day average test rate has remained at 1.7 percent. 
 
July 16: The state reported 11 deaths today.
 
July 15: 27 deaths were reported today; the Berkshires remains unchanged for the third consecutive day with 615 cases and the 13th consecutive day with no deaths. The tally of Berkshire deaths remains at 45.
 
July 14: 10 deaths were reported today. 
 
July 13: The state reported only five deaths today and 154 new cases. 
 
July 12: There were 15 new deaths and 172 confirmed cases. The number hospitals using surge capacity had dropped to two and the three-day average of hospitalizations is 596. There are no patients at BMC and no patients awaiting tests.
 
July 11: The state reported 14 new deaths.
 
July 10: The state reported 28 new deaths. The positive test rate continues at a downward trend, at 1.6 percent on Saturday, but the number of hospitals using surge capacity has been four or five since July 5.
 
July 9: The state reported 25 new deaths.
 
July 8: The nation passed the 3 million mark for confirmed COVID-19 cases but Massachusetts' numbers continue to decline. There are 30 deaths and only 162 new cases reported. However, the number of hospitals using surge capacity has risen from 1 on July 5 to five. Overall, the three-day average of patients hospitalized has dropped to 82 percent.
 
July 7: The state reported 15 new deaths. The six measures dictating the reopening have not changed since June 5; the positive test rate, hospitalizations, and testing capacity have a positive trend status and deaths, health-care system readiness and contract tracing are "in progress." 
 
July 6: DPH separated out probable cases/deaths from the data. No was reason given but it dropped the death count by 215 and the positive cases by more than 5,000. There were 15 new confirmed deaths from COVID-19 for a total of 7,983 (200 less than Sunday.) Phase 3 of the reopening began today.

July 5: The state reported 11 new deaths.
 
July 4: The state reported 23 new deaths on Saturday.
 
July 2 & 3: Berkshire County recorded its first death on July 3 since June 19, bringing the total number to 45. The number of confirmed cases continues to slowly tick, surpassing 600. The number of deaths statewide is 8,149 with 68 new deaths recorded over the past two days.
 
July 1: 28 new deaths were reported.
 
June 30: For the first time since March 20, zero new deaths have been reported by the state. The total number of confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths has also been reduced to 8,054 from 8,095 from cleaning up data to eliminate duplicate reports. 
 
June 29: The state reported 35 deaths and 101 new cases.
 
June 28: The number of deaths reported is again low, at 19; Berkshire County has not had a death related to COVID-19 since June 19. The count for the county remains at 44.
 
June 27: The number of deaths reported for Saturday is 28.
 
June 26: The number of deaths related to COVID-19 in the state passed 8,000 on Friday, with a total of 8,013. More than 809,000 individuals have been tested and the cumulative number of positive cases is 108,070. Berkshire County recorded the first confirmed case in several days, bringing the total since March to 592.
 
June 25: The state is reporting 25 deaths today; more than 800,000 individuals have been tested. Berkshire County numbers in cases and deaths remain the same. 
 
June 24: The state reported 48 deaths; the number of cases in Berkshire County has not changed in three days and the number of deaths has remained at 44.
 
June 23: The state reported 16 deaths on Tuesday. 
 
June 22: The state reported 46 deaths over Sunday and Monday, with 17 reported on Monday, June 22. 
 
June 20: The state reported 28 new deaths today. 
 
June 19: Two more deaths have been reported in Berkshire County for a total of 44; deaths statewide are now at 7,800 with 30 more reported today. However, the trend in cases and hospitalizations continues to decline and the state is set for limited indoor dining and personal services to begin on June 22.
 
June 18: The state reported 36 new deaths; the number of cases in the county continues to creep up to 584.
 
June 16 & 17: New deaths totaled 87 over two days. Berkshire County's number of cases has fluctuated, first dropping by a couple and then rising to 582 on June 17. The number of deaths has remained the same. 
 
June 15: The state reported 23 deaths and showed continued declines in new cases and hospitalizations. Berkshire County's case number was reduced to 579 after two days at 580. No reason was given.
 
June 14: Forty-eight new deaths were reported for a total of 7,264. Berkshire County's cases remain at 580 and 42 deaths. More than 700,000 people have now been tested with 105,603 as confirmed positive.
 
June 13: The state reported 38 new deaths and three-day hospital average has now dropped 78 percent.
 
June 12: The state reported 46 new deaths including one in Berkshire County, the second in five days. The county had not recorded a COVID-19 death for nearly two weeks.
 
June 11: The state reported 38 deaths; no dashboard numbers were available June 10, but the number of deaths was 46.
 
June 9: Only 27 deaths were reported today.
 
June 8: Of the 38 new deaths reported on Monday, one was from Berkshire County. To date, 41 people in the county have died from COVID-19. The total number of deaths statewide is at 7,353; the state reported 27 deaths on June 7. 
 
June 6: The state reported 55 new deaths and upgraded "COVID-19 patients in hospitals" to a positive trend. Of the reopening indicators three — including positive test rate and testing capacity — are now green, or positive trend. Deaths, health-care system readiness and contract tracing remain "in progress."
 
June 5: The total number of cases COVID-19 in Berkshire County continues to creep up by twos and threes but the number of deaths has remained at 40. New deaths reported statewide is 35, the lowest number since the beginning of April. 
 
June 4: 50 deaths were reported, continuing a downward trend that began two weeks ago. The number of total cases in Berkshire County is 568 again, indicating yesterday's reduction may have been a typo.
 
June 3: The state reported 68 new deaths; the three-day average is now down 66 percent and the three-day average of COVID-19 in patients is down 53 percent. DPH reduced the number of cases in Berkshire County by two but did not give a reason.
 
June 2: The state reported 50 new deaths.
 
June 1: New deaths on May 31 were 78; beginning June 1, DPH is also counting probable COVID-19 deaths. Those were 141 on June 1 and 48 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. The number of deaths in Berkshire County remains at 40. 
 
May 30: The state reported 50 new deaths.
 
May 29: The state reported 78 new deaths.
 
May 28: The state reported 93 new deaths.
 
May 27: Another Berkshire County death has been recorded, bringing the total to 40 and 72 new deaths statewide, bringing that total to 6,547. 
 
May 26: The state again reported a low number of deaths, 57, but again this may delays in reporting because of the Memorial Day holiday.. However, the Berkshires reported only its second death since May 6, bringing the county's total to 39. 
 
May 25: The state reported 44 new deaths on Monday; this may be an aberration because of the holiday.
 
May 24: The state reported 68 new deaths on Sunday.
 
May 23: The number of reported deaths and hospitalizations continues to trend down. The state reports 72 new deaths and 610 patients in ICUs across the state compared to more than 1,000 three weeks ago.
 
May 22: Berkshire County has reported its first death from COVID-19 since May 6, bringing the total since March to 38. The number of cases has continued to tick up a few at a time and now stands at 510. The trend continues to decline statewide with deaths reported Friday at 80 and new cases at 805. There has been a 68 percent decline in average daily cases over the past week and 50 percent decline in the three-day average of reported deaths.
 
May 21: The number of deaths reported on Thursday is 82.
 
May 20: The number of COVID-19 cases in Berkshire County hit 500. Deaths remain at 37 but the number of statewide deaths has passed 6,000 with 128 new deaths reported.
 
May 19: The state reported 76 deaths on Monday, the third day the number of deaths has dropped below 100. There still may be a lag in reporting but the three-day average has now dropped 48 percent.
 
May 18: Newly reported deaths on Monday were 62, the second consecutive day below 100. The three-day average has declined by 38 percent, although officials caution about lags in reporting.
 
May 17: The state reported 92 deaths on Sunday.
 
May 16: The state recorded 113 new deaths; the number of Berkshire cases has been rising slightly over the past week and now stands at 495 but deaths remain at 37 and has not changed since May 6.
 
May 15: 110 new deaths were reported for a total of 5,592; hospitalizations continue to trend at 3 percent.
 
May 14: There were 167 new deaths reported; the number of COVID-19 deaths in Berkshire County remains at 37. The percentage of hospitalizations has dropped to 3 percent with 781 patients in intensive care statewide.
 
May 13: The state reported 174 new deaths. There apparently was a lag in results over the past couple days which resulted in an unusually low number on Tuesday, although the average is still lower than recent figures. 
 
May 12: the state reported 33 new deaths, the lowest number since March.
 
May 11: 129 deaths were reported for a total of 5,108 to date.
 
May 10: 139 new deaths were reported statewide.
 
May 9: 138 new deaths reported; the Berkshire County toll remains at 37.
 
May 8: The number of deaths continue to climb with 150 news deaths reported. However, hospitalizations are declining, dropping to 4 percent of cases as of Friday.
 
May 7: The state has reported 132 new deaths for a total of 4,552.
 
May 6: Some 208 deaths were reported statewide including one in Berkshire County. 
 
May 5: The state reported 122 deaths.
 
May 4: The state reported a low of 86 deaths, however there tends to be a lag in reporting coming off the weekend. Deaths in Berkshire County remain at 36.
 
May 3: The state reported 158 new deaths on Sunday, raising the total number of deaths above 4,000.
 
May 2: The state reported 130 new deaths on Saturday and 1,953 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
 
May 1: One more death has been reported in Berkshire County for a total of 36 since the pandemic began. The state reported 154 deaths on Friday and 947 COVID-19 patients in ICUs. 
 
 
April 30: Another death has been reported in Berkshire County for a total of 35 to date; 152 new deaths have been reported statewide.
 
April 29: Deaths from COVID-19 took a jump on Wednesday with 252 — the highest number so far — being reported. Total deaths are now 3,405 including three in Berkshire County. These are the first deaths in the Berkshires in a week. 
 
April 28: The state reported 150 new deaths on Tuesday for a total of 3,153. This is lower than last week's average and, with the weekend taken into account, may signal the state is on the other side of the curve. 
 
April 27: The number of deaths and total cases in Berkshire County has not changed since last week; 104 deaths were reported statewide. This is a significant dip but may  not accurately reflect actual deaths over the weekend.
 
April 26: The state has reported 169 new deaths; Berkshire County has remained the same for several days at 31.
 
April 25: The state has reported 174 new deaths statewide for a total of 2,730.
 
April 24: The state reported 192 new deaths on Friday; the data was delayed until later Friday night and not posted on iBerkshires until the next morning.
 
April 23: The state reported 178 new deaths on Thursday; 1,032 patients are being treated in ICUs across the state.
 
April 22: Two more Berkshire County residents were among the 221 new deaths reported on Wednesday. This was the highest number of deaths reported statewide to date. 
 
April 21: The state reported 152 new deaths on Tuesday.
 
April 20: The state reported 103 new deaths for a total of 1,809 statewide. Total numbers of new cases has dropped over the last four reporting cycles and deaths also appear down, however, this is Monday and there has been a reporting lag over weekends so these numbers may not hold. 
 
April 19: Two Berkshire women in their 60s and 80s have died; 146 total deaths were reported statewide.
 
April 18: A Berkshire County man in his 90s was among 156 new deaths reported on Saturday.
 
April 17: The state is reporting 159 new deaths, including four centenarians and six people in their 50s, showing the range of people being affected. 
 
April 16: Three Berkshire women in their 60s, 80s and 90s have died. Statewide deaths reported over 24 hours is 137. 
 
April 15: The state is reporting 151 new deaths, the highest single day number to date, for a total  of 1,108 deaths from complications of COVID-19.
 
April 14: A Berkshire County woman in her 90s has died and 113 deaths have been reported statewide. Hospitalizations are no longer being reported as a single number; find total capacity here.
 
April 13: Eighty-eight new deaths reported, none in Berkshire County. The day's total was based on deaths reported by 10 a.m., a change fro 12:30 p.m. over the past two months. The new reporting time will be the preceding 24 hours from 10 a.m. each day.
 
April 12: Seventy new deaths reported, none in Berkshire County. 
 
April 11: Eighty-seven new deaths were reported, none in Berkshire County.
 
April 10: Ninety-six more people have died including a Berkshire County woman in her 90s.
 
April 9: A Berkshire County man in his 90s has died along with 69 other state residents for a total of 503 deaths to date.
 
April 8: Two Berkshire County women, one in her 80s and one in her 90s, have died. New deaths reported statewide is 77 for a total of 433.
 
April 7: The number of deaths from COVID-19 jumped by 96 on Tuesday, including five more Berkshire residents. These include deaths from over the weekend and the last 24 hours that have been matched to tests and reported out. Berkshire deaths were of three men in their 50s, 70s, 80s, and two women in their 90s and 100s. 
 
April 6: Twenty-nine more deaths have been reported of residents ranging in age from their 50s to their 90s.
 
April 5: Three more Berkshire County residents have died: three women in their 60s, 90s, and 100s. Total of number of deaths reported statewide on Sunday is 15.
 
April 4: A Berkshire County woman and a man, both in their 90s, and a man in his 80s have died; total deaths statewide rose by 24 to 253.
 
April 3: There were 38 more deaths reported on Friday, none in Berkshire County. However, Williamstown Commons has reported two deaths on Wednesday so it is not clear if they were COVID-19 related.
 
April 2: Thirty-two more deaths have been reported for a total of 154 to date. The majority were hospitalized, including a Suffolk woman in her 30s.
 
April 1: The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state jumped by 1,118; 33 new deaths were recorded for a total of 122 since the pandemic spread to Massachusetts.While most of the deaths have been of residents ranging in age from their 60s to 100s, a man in his 30s has died in Suffolk County. The majority have also died in the hospital. Williamstown Commons reports that the number cases has remained at 20.  
 
March 31: A Berkshire County woman in her 80s has died. The state reports 33 new deaths for a total of 80. These numbers presumably contain the six COVID-19 deaths confirmed at the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke that were not previously reported; another five deaths there are being investigated as COVID-19.
 
Pittsfield is reporting a total of 61 active cases; a Pittsfield death was reported March 23.
 
March 30: Eight new deaths reported: Man in his 60s and woman in her 70s, Middlesex; woman, 80s, and man, 60s, Essex; woman, 70s, Norfolk; two women, 70s and 60s, Suffolk; and woman, 70s, Bristol. 
 
March 29: DPH reports four more deaths, including a Berkshire County woman in her 80s who had not been hospitalized. Also a man in his 80s from Essex County; woman, 90s, Middlesex; and woman, 70s, Norfolk.

March 28: Nine more people have died: woman in her 60s in Essex County; woman, 80s, Suffolk; man, 80s, and woman, 50s, Worcester; woman and man, both 80s, Norfolk; two men, 70s and 80s, and woman, 90s, Hampden.

March 27: Two more Berkshire County residents have died from complications of COVID-19: a man in his 60s and a woman in her 90s. Both had been hospitalized. Eight other state residents have also died: three women in their 80s and a man in his 60s from Norfolk County; woman, 90s, Franklin; man, 80s, Middlesex; man, 90s, Barnstable, and a woman, 90s, Bristol. 

March 26: 10 deaths total. Two men (50s & 80s) from Essex; two men (70s & 80s) and a woman (80s) from Middlesex; man, 80s, Hampden; man, 90s, Suffolk; man, 80s, Worcester; woman, 70s, Norfolk; man, 80s, Franklin. All but three confirmed hospitalized. 

March 25: A man and a woman in their 70s from Worcester County and two men in their 80s from Norfolk and Barnstable counties. All four had been hospitalized.

March 24: A Berkshire County woman in her 60s and a woman in her 80s from Middlesex County have died. 

March 23: Two women, both in their 70s and from Essex and Worcester counties, and two men — one in his 60s from Suffolk County and the other in his 80s from Norfolk County — have died. All four had been hospitalized.

March 22: A Berkshire County man has reportedly died from COVID-19, according to a statement by the DPH.

The first deaths resulting from COVID-19 in the state occurred on March 20  (a man in his 80s from Suffolk County) and on March 21 (a woman in her 50s from Middlesex County).

 

Cancellations, Closures & Changes 😷
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.
 
• 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.
 
• All restaurants and bars are closed to on-premise consumption; please consider ordering takeout from them or buying gift cards to help them through this difficult period. 
 
• All schools are closed at least through May 4. All gatherings of more than 10 are prohibited; expect that all meetings, performances, clubs, fundraisers, worship services and other such activities are canceled. 
 
• All state programs are canceled and non-essential executive branch employees have been ordered to stay home. Museums and other cultural institutions are closed as are movie theaters and YMCAs.  
 
• Banks are currently open for driveup, online banking, ATMs or the drive-up. 
 
• Groceries, pharmacies, department and convenience stores are still open. PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT BUY MORE THAN YOU NEED. Rules in effect include maintaining a 6-foot distance, shopping hours for vulnerable populations, and access to disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer.
 
• Child-care centers open only for essential personnel. Visitation at nursing homes and medical facilities are limited to prevent virus spread. 
 
• 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.
 

 

 

 


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Pittsfield Councilors Ask for Accountability on Police Grants

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two city councilors are asking for more transparency and accountability within the Pittsfield Police Department in relation to department spending.
 
Ward 1 Councilor Helen Moon and Councilor at Large Earl Persip III pointed out the need for accountability at last week's council meeting in regard to the city's acceptance of a $233,940 Support and Incentive grant from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.
 
"What we clearly know is, in some spaces the system is broken, people are asking for more accountability out of police departments," Persip said. "So I just think people want to be able to see where their tax dollars are ultimately going.
 
"I am not suggesting the chief or the Police Department is doing something they shouldn't be, I just think that people are more interested in where their dollars are spent in the Police Department, so I think as city councilors, as administration, we want to be open about that."
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