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North Adams Schools Report First Case of COVID-19

Staff ReportsiBerkshires
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The public schools have reported the first positive case of COVID-19. 
According to a letter sent to parents and staff, Superintendent Barbara Malkas said the school system "recently received information" of a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus. 
Malkas said cleaning and disinfecting of the "exposed location" had been completed according to guidance from the Department of Public Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control. 
She clarified by email that the location was a classroom and bathrooms within that zone. Schools would not be closed, Malkas said, unless there were multiple cases within one school or multiple cases across multiple schools. 
In this case it was one student in one cohort in one zone, she said. "We are still low in incidence."
The school system is also doing contract tracing in collaboration with the state Department of Public Health. 
"Every individual with a potential exposure has been given instructions on the course of action they need to take, including self-isolating and testing if directed. Please note that all information, including the name(s) of ill persons, shared regarding any Public Health investigation is confidential in order to protect patient privacy," she wrote in her letter to parents. 
Those with questions or concerns were asked to contact the nurse leader, Lauren Gage, at 413-662-3240, Ext. 2303, or
The school system has been transitioning from full remote to hybrid over the last several weeks, with Grades 11 and 12 at Drury High School being the last to enter the buildings this week. Malkas told the School Committee on Tuesday that the transition had been going well except for some issues with technology. 
The grades have been split into cohorts and following the AARBB schedule — cohort A attending Mondays and Tuesdays and cohort B attending Thursdays and Fridays. All other times are remote learning, including Wednesday, which is being used as an extra cleaning day between the shift in cohorts. 


Tags: COVID-19,   school reopening,   

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Flag Disposal Receptacle Installed at North Adams Fire Department

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

The secure receptacle is located on the south side of the fire station.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city unveiled a newly installed flag disposal box that will provide residents with a safe place to respectfully dispose of American flags. 
"We don't want our flag to be disrespected and to have the opportunity for people to be able to retire it safely with honor in a centralized space is great," City Councilor Benjamin Lamb said Monday morning at a small gathering at the fire station where the box was installed. 
Lamb said he decided to act after seeing a social media post documenting a pile of flags essentially thrown away at the transfer station. He did some research and found that Sturbridge had a public receptacle to dispose of retired American flags.
He thought this could be a solution in North Adams.
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