Berkshire Health Systems Releases New Visitation Policy

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PITTSFIELD, Mass — Berkshire Health Systems has changed its visitation policies as the number of COVID-19 cases in the community are rising. 
The changes are effective starting on Monday, Nov. 16, and include:
• All patients and visitors must be screened for COVID symptoms upon entering a BHS facility.
• No visitation for visitors experiencing symptoms of illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, chills, body      aches, loss of sense taste, or smell).
• Inpatient visitors/companions must sign in, show identification and be issued a visitor badge.
• Approved visitors must always wear a mask and perform hand hygiene before and after entering a patient's room.
• Birth partners, parents of children under 18, attorneys, PCAs, companions or designated support person of patients        with intellectual and/or physical disabilities are not considered visitors. They must be screened for symptoms and wear    a mask but may stay with the patient 24/7. They should have access to food and restrooms.
• No visitation for patients suspected of or testing positive for COVID - 19.
• Critical Care: One visitor at a time for 15 minutes between the hours of 4 pm to 7 pm (7 days a week).
• Emergency Department: One companion at a time.
• Medical/Surgical, Family Birthing, Rehab and Pediatric Units: One visitor at a time for 30 minutes each between the        hours of 2 pm to 7 pm (7 days a week).
• Behavioral Health Units: No visitation. Tele-visits can be arranged with provider approval.
• No visitors under the age of 18 except the child of a patient and the siblings of a patient.
• End-of-Life Circumstances: Number of visitors based on approval by the House Supervisor.
• Surgical Day/Endoscopy/Crane Center: A companion can accompany a patient to the department, leave and return to    pick them up and receive post-procedural teaching.
• Ambulatory or outpatient services, one companion/designated support person may accompany the patient to an in-        person provider, therapy, or diagnostic test visit.
• Patient Experience Department and Nursing can help with an alternate electronic means of communication for                individuals who are unable to visit in person.
The visitation guidelines will be updated as needed, depending on the current status of COVID-19 transmission in the community.

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Pittsfield City Council Talks Potholes, Street Repair Prioritization

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A discussion on sidewalk and street maintenance got heated at Tuesday's City Council meeting and ended with an unofficial agreement for more open communication between the Department of Public Utilities and ward councilors on pothole filling.
Ward 2 Councilor Kevin Morandi, Ward 4 Councilor Chris Connell, and Ward 7 Councilor Anthony Maffuccio aired their grievances on Pittsfield's "poor" sidewalk and road conditions to Commissioner of Public Works Ricardo Morales for nearly an hour before Councilor at Large Earl Persip III made a well-received suggestion that communication is boosted between the public utility department and councilors in the future.
"What I'm asking for is a deeper sense of communication than you would normally give, and I know that's hard with seven ward councilors, and then the four at-large councilors will also give you things but I think in the long run, that helps everybody, including giving the residents the information that they need. So that's just a suggestion, I think, the more information you give us, and a better understanding of we have of how the roads are being done and chosen each year. I think it's just a positive thing for everybody," Persip said to Morales.
"You've always been open about listening to us and trying new things, so I just appreciate that and I'm sure others will, too."
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