Pittsfield Public Schools See 37 Student COVID-19 Cases

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There are currently about 37 student cases of COVID-19 in the Pittsfield Public Schools and Superintendent Joseph Curtis is stressing the importance of mitigation practices.

This case number is even higher than the district's rate during this time last year.

"We have an extremely high number of cases with our students and I would just indicate and stress that even more cases than we had during the pandemic at this time last year,"  Curtis said the School Committee on Wednesday night.

"And so, I want to emphasize that all of our health and safety practices are in place, sanitization that has occurred throughout the pandemic is still in place, but I will be providing a message to our families on Friday, as I do each Friday, but really stressing and encouraging that those safety practices also take place outside of the school in their own personal life."

He added that the district was expecting a rise in positives because of the surge that occurred last year after Halloween and stressed that the pandemic is not over.

"We were expecting this rise in cases but just to bring awareness that the pandemic is not over," Curtis cautioned. "And those health and safety practices are critical, not only in school as we have continued to do throughout, but outside of school."

On Nov. 8, 2020, the average case rate was 20.2 per 100,000 residents; that rose until it hit a peak of 78 cases per 100,000 at the beginning of December.

The city is currently in an upward trend with around 43.8 cases per 100,000 but has lower hospitalization rates.  

Curtis said the district has confirmed six child vaccination events in partnership with the Board of Health.

They will be held at Conte Community School on Nov. 17 and Dec. 8 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Morningside Community School on Nov. 22 and Dec. 13 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., and at Egremont Elementary School on Nov. 29 and Dec. 20 from 3:45 to 6:30 p.m.

On Oct. 29, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency authorization on the Pfizer-Biotech vaccine for COVID-19 for ages 5 to 11.

Curtis added that any child may attend any one of the clinics and they can also be mixed and matched for better availability.

"We did coordinate the dates to allow for, if they chose, to have the first and second dose at the same location," he explained. "But stressing that they could mix locations as well."

The district has been publicizing a frequently asked question (FAQ) sheet below and the registration link is here.

Pediatric Vaccine Info Sheet by iBerkshires.com on Scribd

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Greenagers Youth Crew to Assess County Bridges and Culverts

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

The survey is part of a larger hazard mitigation program to identify areas for flooding and ecological damage caused by climate change.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Greenagers youth crew will be assessing the bridges and culverts of Pittsfield, Lenox, Stockbridge, and New Marlborough over the next two years. 

The environmentally interested teens will be determining what improvements are needed for the infrastructure to support increased precipitation and flooding, wildlife crossings, and stormwater management.

"I think sort of the biggest thing we want to get out there is that if you see folks assessing these structures or in your neighborhood, then it's a Greenagers crew, that it's youth doing this project in their area," Courteny Morehouse, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission's senior planner for the Environmental & Energy Program said.

"And then if they want to get in touch and learn more about the project, or just get engaged, they can contact me they can, they can go and talk to the youth that are there, mostly just want to get folks knowledgeable about the project that's happening."

At the project's conclusion, the four communities will be given a Road Stream Crossing Management Plan (RSCMP) with an inventory of its road street crossings and culverts that need attention ranked by priority.

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