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Dalton Sees Slight COVID-19 Increases

By Joe DurwiniBerkshires Correspondent
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DALTON, Mass. — An uptick in COVID-19 cases has raised the alert level for Dalton to green from where it has rested in the gray level comfortably for weeks.
"People are getting more comfortable and getting together prematurely," Health Agent Jayne Smith told members of the Select Board on Monday.
Smith said a significant cluster was seen following a birthday party that took place in a neighboring community, but has impacted infection numbers in Dalton.
"We're all connected. What effects one town effects the other towns," she said.
The news comes as Dalton looks to reopen more in-person town business. Town hall is slated to begin opening doors on Monday, April 5, and the Police Department has just reopened its lobby to the public (two-person maximum capacity, masks required).
The most recent info from state Department of Health last week had Dalton along with Pittsfield at green status, with Lee in yellow and all other towns in the county gray. Pittsfield has since shifted to yellow this week.
Smith said the Board of Health is working with the regional school district and businesses that have been impacted, which included "a lot of different sectors."
"We're so close at the end, we're right there ... what we're seeing is that people are getting too comfortable, and the numbers are going up," Smith said, remaining optimistic while urging residents to exercise caution.
"I think if everyone just stays mindful, and does the best that they can to get tested ... don't go into work or any activity sick. ... mask up and keep up your social distancing ... I feel like this could just be temporary blip."
In other town business, the Select Board confirmed appointments for three police officers moving up in the ranks:
Officer Bustin Buzzella to permanent sergeant; Officer Trey Balardini from temporary to permanent officer; Officer Tyler Miller to permanent full-time officer; and Officer Joshua Bradley to temporary full-time officer.
Chair Robert Bishop apologized for some skate ramps set up at Pine Grove Park that had been accidentally discarded by town employees, and is looking to see what can be done to replace some of the plywood lumber that was removed.
• The Police Department is reminding the public that the winter parking ban remains in effect until April 15. There is currently no on-street parking between the hours of 1 and 6 a.m.

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