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Tyer Cautions Public Health Data Will Inform Phase 2 Reopening

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In her weekly COVID-19 update on Friday, Mayor Linda Tyer asked residents to stay strong during the potential last week of Phase 1 of the reopening process.
She said as the state enters the third and potentially final week of Phase 1, residents need to continue to practice "safer at home" protocols.  
"I am confident that the city will do what needs to be done as we always do because even in the toughest times our community pride finds a way to shine bright," Tyer said. 
She reiterated that the beginning of the next phase will be guided by public health data and said the governor announced this week that the state was past the "surge."
"That is certainly goods news for Massachusetts and it reflects the collective commitment that so many people like yourselves who have adhered to the preventive measures to keep our communities healthy and safe," she said. 
She said the city will continue contact testing that will surely increase the number of cases but give the city more data to inform its own reopening. 
Tyer added that CVS on West Street is now providing testing. Those who qualify can pick up a kit to be later dropped off at a drop box at the store to be sent out for testing. She said they are only allowing 50 tests a day by appointment and people can visit CVS website to see if they qualify.
The city will continue to work with businesses and establishments opening up in Phase 1 and preparing those getting ready to open up in the coming phases. The state has asked local boards of healths to inform reopening businesses who have not used their buildings in some time that their water systems may be unsafe for use. She said those reopening should check the U.S. Centers for Disease Control website for more information.  
Tyer said it was released that the 62 percent of the deaths in the state were cases from long-term living facilities. She said although this is heartbreaking, this has not been the case in Pittsfield, which has been working closely with local nursing homes.  
"We are deeply saddened by this reality and we are grateful that none of our nursing homes have experienced loos of lives because of this virus," she said.
Tyer noted that there is a nationwide unemployment scam being reported and victims have received claim notifications from the Department of Unemployment. She said anyone who believes they have been victimized should contact the Department of Unemployment.
In closing, Tyer urged residents to continue to enjoy the nice weather safely and visit the downtown to view the banners set up to honor the Pittsfield and Taconic high school graduates.

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Pittsfield Kiwanis Holds Park of Honor Opening Ceremony

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Air Force recruiter Staff Sgt. Monica Ureste poses with the flags. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Kiwanis Club of Pittsfield celebrated the 11th annual Park of Honor with an opening ceremony on Saturday afternoon.

The club holds this fundraiser every year. Flags are purchased in honor of local veterans to raise money for scholarships to support children and grandchildren of veterans.

In the decade that the Pittsfield Kiwanis have been holding this fundraiser, the club has raised more than $1 million in scholarships. This year, it sold more than 400 flags.

"I could go on forever, I am so proud of this event and to have it continue for 11 years is a lot of  work," President Cheryl Tripp-Cleveland said.

She sent out a heartfelt thank you to the city of Pittsfield, which came to the rescue after the Kiwanis' loyal helper who usually installs the flags became ill. After giving Mayor Linda Tyer a call, the Pittsfield Highway Department was on site within a half hour to put up all of the flags at Park Square.

"This year's almost didn't happen," Tripp-Cleveland said. "One of our people that helps us every year is very very sick and he just couldn't do it, and so we're offering up some prayers and good thoughts for Ernie and wishing him a quick recovery because this community really appreciates everything that he does, and he does so much."

The Kiwanis president also thanked all of the donors including the Pittsfield Highway Department, the Rotary Club, and WBRK and Star 101. She is also thankful for Berkshire Gas, which has given a generous donation each year for the 11 years that the Park of Honor has been held.

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