NORTH ADAMS - Protesters, many of them members of 1199 SEIU, the nurses union and their supporters, held signs and chanted "Quality care" at a rally outside North Adams Regional Hospital on Friday morning, the hospital's last day of operation. The protesters were ejected from the lobby of the hospital earlier Friday morning, but were later let back in.

"We sympathize, but everyone needs to be out of the lobby," Lt. Dave Sacco of the North Adams Police Department called out.

Northern Berkshire Healthcare, facing a financial calamity, is closing the hospital and its affiliates. Some physician groups will carry on with help from Berkshire Health Systems and Berkshire Medical Center, while a judge on Thursday blocked the emergency department from closing at 10 a.m.

More than 500 were expected to lose their jobs, though final job losses were unclear due to some services continuing.