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Berkshire County Has 8 Vaccination Sites for Phase 2 Rollout

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The state has released the expanded sites for COVID-19 vaccinations, including eight in Berkshire County.
 
Phase 2 of the vaccination rollout begins Monday, Feb. 1, by appointment. Currently there are three "mass vaccination" sites, including one in Springfield. There is expected to be 165 vaccination sites and seven mass vaccination locations by mid-February at public and private entities. 
 
The first priority group in Phase 2 will be residents 75 and older who can begin to schedule vaccination appointments on Wednesday.
 
The locations in Berkshire County are, with links to online signup, the following: 
 
 
• Pittsfield: Walgreens, Cheshire Road; Berkshire Community College's Paterson Field House; Stop & Shop, Dan Fox Drive; Berkshire Allergy Care, South Street (email to COVID@centralmassallergy.com, providing ONLY first name, phone number, and preferred location for vaccination).
 
• Lee: Walgreens, Park Street
 
• Great Barrington: WEB DuBois Middle School, Monument Valley Road
 
All locations are open to eligible populations, including those who fall in the Phase 1 rollout and who have not yet received the vaccine. 
 
The vaccines used are expected to be the Moderna and, for the larger sites at BCC, St. Elizabeth's and DuBois Middle School, the Pfizer vaccine, both of which require two shots a few weeks apart for full coverage. 
 
Those who fall in the Phase 2 category, by priority, are:
  • Individuals 75 and older
  • Individuals 65 and older or anyone with two or more comorbidities
  • Early education and K-12 workers, transit, utility, food and agriculture, sanitation, public works, and public health workers, and
  • Individuals with one comorbidity.
The exact date for each priority group to get the vaccine will depend on the vaccine supply from the federal government and the uptake and demand for vaccine appointments. Due to high demand and constrained vaccine supply, COVID-19 Vaccination appointments are limited.

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State Education Board Approves Push for In-School Learning

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

DESE Commissioner Jeffrey Riley explains the reasoning for getting students back in classrooms and off remote learning. 
BOSTON — Schools across the state are being ordered to resume in-classroom instruction as soon as possible, beginning with elementary grades on April 5. 
 
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted 8-3 on Friday afternoon to accord DESE Commissioner Jeffrey Riley authority to change requirements for learning time that would not include remote learning.
 
Families would still have the ability to remain remote for the rest of this school year and some schools may be able to get waivers, but the state would have the ability to hold back Chapter 70 education funds for schools out of compliance. 
 
The vote followed hours of testimony from medical professionals, educators and parents that veered from strongly encouraging the return to school as an important to students' health, well-being and educational needs to cautions that many schools did not have the ability to provide adequate spacing or COVID-19 precautions and calls for school employees to be vaccinated prior to any return. 
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