Williams College President Thanks Berkshires Healthcare Heroes

By Maud S. MandelGuest Column
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In 2020, COVID-19 turned our lives upside down. Medical and public health experts rushed to treat the sick and contain the spread. At Williams, we closed our campus and helped students leave for their safety — a sad milestone in our 227-year history. 
 
Today, the college is once again bustling with students, faculty and staff, learning, living and working on campus. Throughout the Berkshires, communities are starting to emerge and look to the future again.
 
Thursday, March 17, was the second anniversary of Williams' closure. Today, the college's senior staff and I want to thank the outstanding medical and public health professionals of Berkshire County and the region for caring for area residents so well throughout the pandemic.
 
Presidents and CEOs Dave Phelps and Darlene Rodowicz at Berkshire Health Systems and Tom Dee at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center provided strong leadership as they and their teams of devoted doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers organized and ran testing programs, traced close contacts and provided dedicated care in extraordinary circumstances. At the same time, they also offered expert counsel to Williams and other area employers and organizations.
 
Our gratitude extends, too, to all the heroic first responders, health-care professionals and public health specialists who have worked so hard these last two years.
  
The people of the Berkshires have been through a lot. We mourn the many whom we have lost, and work to support others still on the long path to recovery. But with spring finally on the way, we at Williams want to take this moment to publicly thank the good people — partners, colleagues, friends and neighbors — who have helped bring hope back to our beloved Berkshires. 
 
Maud S. Mandel is the president of Williams College. 




Tags: COVID-19,   Williams College,   


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Williamstown Board of Health 'Strongly Recommends' Masks at Town Meeting

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Board of Health on Monday morning strongly recommended that attendees at Tuesday's annual town meeting wear masks and relayed that masks will be available for anyone who arrives without one.
 
But a groundswell appears to be developing for that meeting to be adjourned to a new date and location in light of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The town moderator said last week that he has no intention of unilaterally postponing the meeting or adjourning it to a "date certain" at a different venue. And on Friday, the town posted a statement on the issue on its website.
 
Such an adjournment is possible if an attendee moves for one at the outset of the meeting (identifying a time and location for the meeting's resumption) and that motion passes.
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