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The Board of Health reported more than 16,000 doses have been administered through the clinic at St. Elizabeth's Parish Hall.

North Adams Vaccine Clinic Passes 16,000 Doses Given

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — More than 16,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered through the Northern Berkshire vaccine clinic.
 
Board of Health Chairman John Meaney, who as general manager of Northern Berkshire EMS has been part of the group operating the clinic, said it wasn't clear how many North Adams residents that included. 
 
As of last week, more than 5,000 residents in North Adams and Clarksburg had received at least one dose. The state tracks inoculations by ZIP code, which the city and town share, and may also include the town of Florida. The Berkshire Vaccine Collaborative is open to any Massachusetts residents and those who work or attend school here but reside in other states.
 
The clinic has been able to administer double the number of doses when it first opened, with more than 1,500 per clinic last week. But the number is dependent on the doses the collaborative gets from the state.
 
"We still are trying to advocate for additional first-dose vaccine, but that seems to be a struggle every week to make sure that we get an allotment," Meaney said at Wednesday's board meeting. "A lot of members are working with the Berkshire Collaborative to try to advocate for that and so I think we'll hopefully start seeing an increase so that we can
wrap this up."
 
Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to visit the collaborative's Pittsfield at Berkshire Community College on Thursday. He has in the past singled out the regional collaborative as model for vaccine distribution.
 
In other business, Health Director Heather Demarsico reported the city had 96 active cases in the last 14 days. 
 
"But a majority of that is due to the Easter holiday, and people getting together," she said, adding that despite the numbers, hospitalizations are very low with a report of three patients at Berkshire Medical Center.
 
"We've had a few cases, you know locally at Walmart just recently, but aside from that, our restaurants are doing fairly well," Demarsico said. "We get one here and there but I don't see a huge increase in cases so it's been fairly quiet."
 
Demarsico reported the number of inspections she'd done since the last meeting, including five food service inspections, 13 housing complaint inspections, and two Title Five inspections.

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North Adams Schools Fully Open Beginning Next Week

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — High school seniors will be returning to classrooms full time beginning next week on May 17, following the return of Grades 7 and 8 on April 28.
 
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in March voted to give the commissioner discretion to require in-classroom instruction to count as learning time. Most elementary children returned to classrooms April 5, although some students and schools were allowed to remain remote. 
 
"It looks as if about 75 percent of our seventh- and eighth-grade population returned for full in person, and we are currently processing the data for the high school return," Superintendent Barbara Malkas told the School Committee last week. An earlier survey to parents got very little response so a second was issued the week before. "We really needed to make sure we had a full complement of data."
 
She noted that the federal government was expected to approve use of the Pfizer vaccine to ages 12 and up; those 16 and older can already receive the shot. The more members of the school community are vaccinated, she said, the less disruption in learning since vaccinated people are not required to quarantine after contact with someone who has COVID-19.  
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