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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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Berkshire Theatre Group to Present 'Godspell' Outdoors

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Theatre Group will produce "Godspell" this summer – the first musical in the United States to be approved by Actors' Equity Association in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The show will be presented outdoors in an open-air tent adjacent to The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, and is scheduled to run Aug. 6 through Sept. 4. Tickets will be available for purchase Tuesday, July 7, at noon. 

"We could not bear the thought of a Berkshire summer without live theater to support our community, so we jumped through every hoop to create a safe way to make this happen," said BTG Board of Trustees Co-President Lee Perlman. "I hope our production gives hope to the tens of thousands of theater professionals who are on the sidelines this summer. Theater is unstoppable and will be back”

Artistic director and CEO Kate Maguire said "Godspell" got the green light after BTG established a strict protocol to protect the health and safety of the audience, the performers and others involved in the show. 

"We have been working daily and in the true spirit of care and collaboration with Actors’ Equity Association for the past several weeks," she said. "Guided by Executive Director of Actors’ Equity Association Mary McColl and her extraordinary team, I have learned much about how to lead a theater in the new world. Our industry, which has been devastated by this global pandemic, will be served by their seriousness, data driven wisdom, and profound understanding of the need for artists to rebuild. 

"I am so proud that Berkshire Theatre Group, in its 92nd season will be authorized and granted the responsibility to produce the musical 'Godspell.'”

After careful consideration with the local and state government, Mayor Linda Tyer of Pittsfield and Actors’ Equity Association, BTG relocated "Godspell" from its original site at The Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge to outside under a tent at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield.

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