Pittsfield COVID Rates Slightly Higher Than Thanksgiving

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — With Hanukkah underway and Christmas in a few days, the city's COVID-19 metrics are slightly higher than they were for Thanksgiving.

The city's Biobot sewage data showed a 1.1 million copies per liter virus concentration over the weekend, compared to the 1 million copies per liter concentration on Thanksgiving day.

Though the number has gone down from 1.9 million copies per liter at the beginning of the month.

Director of Public Health Andy Cambi has indicated that the sewage concentration is the truest indicator of the virus' presence in the community because the other metrics don't include at-home tests.

The average case rate on Tuesday was 24.2 cases per 100,00 people and the positivity rate was 8.1 percent. On Thanksgiving, there were 13.5 cases per 100,000 and the positivity rate was 5.7 percent.

There are around 65 estimated actively contagious cases, nearly double that of Thanksgiving, and 11 hospitalizations at Berkshire Medical center.  

On Sunday, there were 20 new cases.

The city remains in the "red zone" for transmission, having more than 10 cases per 100,000 and a positivity rate above 5 percent. It has essentially remained in this category since last year with some reprieve in the spring that put the city in the lesser "yellow zone."

The city has 65 active cases and 15,124 total cases, with 77 percent of residents fully vaccinated. There have been 91 total reported deaths but the city has not had a death related to COVID-19 since mid-October. Berkshire Health Systems has 13 patients who have tested positive. Statewide, the percentage of positive patients being treated primarily for the novel coronavirus has hovered around 30 percent. 

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Pittsfield to Unveil Plaque for Buddy Pellerin Ballfield

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A commemorative plaque will officially designate the Clapp Park ballfield for former coach George "Buddy" Pellerin.

The name change was approved about seven years ago after Pellerin passed away at the age of 77. The plaque's set be unveiled at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14.

"Chairman [Cliff] Nilan has been involved with this effort to site a permanent plaque at the Buddy Pellerin Field which is of course the main baseball field and Clapp Park where Buddy Pellerin coached and played for many, many years," Park, Open Space and Natural Resource Program Manager James McGrath explained to the Parks Commission on Monday.

"And this is a permanent recognition of his contribution to the city."

The plaque, currently covered up, is just behind home plate on the backstop behind the walking track.  It was pointed out that the public is welcome to join the unveiling to remember a "literal Pittsfield giant."

Pellerin was head coach of the Pittsfield High baseball team for 19 years, leading the team to the state title in 1966 and taking the team to the 1974 title game. He also served as athletic director and head softball coach during his time at PHS.
He handed over the reins of the baseball team in 1982 but remained active in the sport. He went on to coach softball at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and the former St. Joseph's High as well as the city's Babe Ruth League all-star team. He was inducted into the Massachusetts Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1988.
The park has seen major improvements after the city partnered with the Rotary Club and the Buddy Pellerin Field Committee on a state grant.

During the meeting, it was also reported that the Berkshire County Historical Society has been working with the city to plant a commemorative elm tree in Park Square. It will replace the iconic one that was planted in the 1990s to emulate an elm that was admired by Pittsfield residents in the city's early days.

There will be a dedication ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 28, at 5:30 p.m. The event will fall on Nation Plant a Tree Day.

"This year we have been working with [McGrath] to plan a special planting of an elm to commemorate the elm that was obviously very famous here in Pittsfield and was chopped down but was first saved by Lucretia Williams," Executive Director Lesley Herzberg explained.

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