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Pittsfield Confirms COVID-19 Cases In Post Office

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city released a statement confirming cases of COVID-19 in the Fenn Street  Post Office and noted that the release was dispersed because of a "lack of cooperation."
 
The City of Pittsfield Health Department released a press release Friday afternoon stating that the city’s Contact Tracing Team and Health Department have been notified of four lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in employees of the United States Postal Office with exposure dates of Sept. 28 to the present.
 
According to the press release:
 
"We understand that this may create unease in our community. Please know that we have been working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Health, and the Health Department and contact tracing team will continue to seek cooperation from the post office, as it is our duty in preventing the spread of COVID-19. This notice is to make the public aware to use all the CDC recommended guidelines when visiting the post office and interacting with the employees."
 
The release stated that the health department had made attempts to work with the Post Office, located on 212 Fenn St., to identify those who have had close contact with the cases however because of poor cooperation, the city decided to send out a press release instead.
 
"We have been unsuccessful due to the lack of cooperation and information from the United States Postal Office. Due to this lack of cooperation, the Health Department believes it is necessary to notify the public."
 
The release went on to say the risk of exposure from individuals present at the post office on these dates are no greater than the risk of contracting the virus in the general community, but the city wanted to inform the public of this lack of cooperation.
 
"However, it is important to be aware that the USPS location 212 Fenn St. is not providing requested information to the city’s contact tracing team. The lack of cooperation and information poses a risk to the community. Collaboration between workplaces and the city’s contact tracing team is crucial in slowing transmission."
 
For more information or questions, please contact the Pittsfield Health Department at 413-499-9411.
 

 


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Pittsfield Picks Veteran Employees as ARPA Fund Managers

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two familiar faces will be serving as the city's special projects managers for the $41 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

Director of Community Development Deanna Ruffer and former Director of Public Health Gina Armstrong will share the one full-time position as co-managers.

Mayor Linda Tyer on Monday informed the City Council by email that Ruffer would be resigning from her current post in early to mid-February to take on this new role.

Rather than a resignation, Ruffer sees this as a transition. Armstrong resigned from her position in September, citing a need for more balance in her life and to spend more time with her family.

In the fall, the special projects manager position was created to oversee the city's allocation of ARPA funding. It will likely only be in place over the next five years, until the spending deadline in 2026, and will be paid in full through the ARPA funds.

"I am very excited to transition from the city's Community Development Director Position to co-special project manager for the City's American Rescue Plan program. This opportunity coincides with a personal desire to adjust my work-life balance to allow me to spend more time with family and pursuing personal interests," Ruffer wrote to iBerkshires in an email.

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