Pittsfield Experiencing Mini COVID Surge

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
Print Story | Email Story

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city is experiencing a "mini" COVID-19 surge, Director of Public Health Andy Cambi confirmed on Tuesday.

"Pretty big news today," he said to the City Council. "For the COVID update for this month, [I'm] here to report that we are experiencing a mini-surge for our fall season with COVID cases."

On Monday, the positivity rate was 9.8 percent and there were 41.6 daily cases per 100,000 people, compared to an 8 percent positivity rate and an average daily case rate of 28.6 one month ago.

There are 103 estimated actively contagious cases in the city.

Pittsfield remains in the red incident rate, meaning that there are 10 or more average cases per 100,000 people and there is a 5 percent or larger positivity rate.

Cambi reported that the city has not exceeded 20 daily COVID hospitalizations, with about 18 last reported by Berkshire Health Systems, and is still "relatively low" with daily hospital services.

He explained that the biggest indicator of COVID's impact on the community is its Biobot wastewater testing, which is showing about 1.6 million copies per liter.  

"I think it's important now that we kind of take a look at our virus concentration in sewage to get a community gauge of the impact that COVID is having on the season," Cambi said.

Ward 5 Councilor Patrick Kavey pointed out that the sewage concentration is more than double what it was in May but there are half the cases.  

Cambi confirmed that sewage testing is the best indicator, as it takes at-home tests into account, while the other metrics do not.

Kavey also asked for information on Bivalent booster and the public health director said there needs to be more community engagement statewide and locally for it, which is being worked on.

"We're actually possibly looking at getting the booster in-house, our public health nurse is working with the state to be offering that," Cambi reported. "So we might be able to do our own clinics, just the health department, small clinics. So that's also in the works."

Tags: COVID-19,   

More Coronavirus Updates

Keep up to date on the latest COVID-19 news:

If you would like to contribute information on this article, contact us at info@iberkshires.com.

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.

View Full Story

More Pittsfield Stories