New Bivalent COVID-19 Vaccine Available

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems will begin providing the new bivalent COVID-19 vaccine in September and October. 
The latest vaccine to combat COVID-19 is designed to provide protection from the BA.4 and BA.5 variants that currently make up the vast majority of novel coronavirus cases in the United States.
The bivalent vaccine will be offered at the BHS Testing & Vaccine Centers in Pittsfield and North Adams, and at Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington, as follows:
Pittsfield Testing & Vaccine Center, 505 East St., St. Luke's Square: starting on Tuesday, Sept. 13, and continuing each week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• North Adams Testing & Vaccine Center, 98 Church St., next to the city library: starting on Friday, Sept. 16, and continuing on Mondays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m to 4 p.m.
• Fairview Hospital, 29 Lewis Ave., Great Barrington: starting on Saturday, Oct. 1, and Saturday, Oct. 22, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The three locations will offer both Pfizer and Moderna versions of the bivalent vaccine, with Pfizer available for those 12 years of age and older, and Moderna for those 18 and older. In order to receive the bivalent vaccine, you must have previously received the two primary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. For those who have also received COVID-19 boosters, you must be at least two months beyond your latest booster vaccine.
Appointments are required to receive the bivalent vaccine and can be made by using the Berkshire Patient Portal or calling the BHS COVID-19 Hotline, 855-BMC-LINK, or 855-262-5465, which operates weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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Pittsfield ZBA Grants Casella Permit for Waste Transfer Facility

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Zoning Board of Appeals calls Casella's planned redevelopment of the former trash incinerator an improvement to the site.

Last week, the panel approved a special permit to allow a waste transfer facility at the site on 500 Hubbard Ave. Casella Waste Management purchased the waste transfer facility on Hubbard Avenue from Community Eco Power LLC, which filed for bankruptcy in 2021 and has demolished it for redevelopment into a waste transfer station.

The owners say the trash will be brought to the facility and transferred away daily. Concerns that were voiced about the project include odor and impacts to the surrounding area but Casella says the new operation will be less of an impact than the former.

"I think this is going to be a vast improvement based upon the facility that was there previously. I know that sometimes you would get a sight of the other one, they used to dump the waste and it was laying like a floating pond," board member John Fitzgerald said.

"And since the trash is not going to be there, it's going to be in and out, I think the odor will be reduced and I think the vermin will be reduced."

It was also pointed out that the site has handled trash for 40 years.

"I think a lot of the odor before was related to burning," board member Esther Anderson "And there's not going to be burning so it it's going to be greatly reducing the amount of odor and if it's not sitting there is no place for vermin to be."

The former incinerator, including a 118-foot tall stack, has already been demolished a fabric structure is being used temporarily for waste handling.

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