Pittsfield Experiencing Mini COVID Surge
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."
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