Pittsfield COVID Cases, Hospitalizations Continue to Rise

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Last week, iBerkshires reported that COVID-19 cases continued to rise after a surge that pushed the city into the "red zone" and hospitalizations had also increased. This week, the report is the same.

On Sunday, the percent positivity rate was 16.6 percent and there were about 132 cases per 100,000 people. The positivity rate was 12.4 percent on the previous Sunday and there were 106 cases per 100,000 people.

This is a stark contrast to the positivity rate of 2.1 in late March when there were only about 13 cases per 100,000 people.

On Monday, there were 20 people hospitalized with the virus at Berkshire Medical Center compared to 17 last week. There were three COVID-19 patients at Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington on Monday as well.

In the last week, there were 30 hospitalizations for patients who tested positive in a PCR test and 52 in the last 14 days. Some 37 patients also have pending tests, according to Berkshire Health System's COVID dashboard.

Pittsfield has about 345 estimated actively contagious cases with 36 new cases just on Sunday.

There are currently about 33 new active cases in the Pittsfield Public Schools. This metric has gone down significantly from the previous week when there were more than 100 reported cases.

Superintendent Joseph Curtis said in a Friday districtwide update that the district continues to do a close analysis of each case in each classroom at each school along with the overall picture of the district. The district is so far not implementing any change in practice but that could change if circumstances do, Curtis also reported.

Early this month Curtis disclosed a possible return of masking in the schools if the cases continued to rise. In his update to students and families dated May 6, he reported 102 cases in the district, about 30 cases higher than his previous communication to families.  

On Monday, Berkshire County had 367 new cases and a 7-day average of 136.

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Pittsfield OK's Alcohol License Transfer to Camp Arrow Wood

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Despite pushback from neighbors, the Licensing Board on Monday approved a liquor license transfer from a long-shuttered restaurant to Camp Arrow Wood located on Cloverdale Street.

The unanimous vote changed the location, manager, and management/operating agreement from The Elbow Room to the camp, which is a venture of Mill Town Capital. The Elbow Room has been closed for about five years.

It was approved in October 2021 but was kicked back by the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission because the transfer also required a change of location and public notice to abutters, which was provided in mid-June.

Residents of Cloverdale Street expressed safety concerns pertaining to the property having a liquor license, saying the neighborhood is a quiet place that they don't want to be disrupted by unruly patrons.

"Cloverdale Street is a quiet, peaceful, rural neighborhood. Allowing alcohol to be sold in this camp would decrease our property values, would increase traffic, and more importantly, destroy the character of the neighborhood," a resident said.

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