State confirms five cases of coronavirus in Berkshire County

Berkshire Medical Center on Saturday confirmed a presumptive case of the new coronavirus.

GREAT BARRINGTON — A town man who has been clinging to life for seven days after being diagnosed with the new coronavirus showed some signs of improvement Friday, according to relatives.

Two of the man's family members, who wish to remain anonymous, told The Eagle that the man is in critical but stable condition in the intensive care unit at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield as he struggles to overcome upper respiratory failure from COVID-19.

"Today, there were a couple of positive developments in his overall condition," one of the family members said.

The man, who is 70, is the first Great Barrington resident to test positive for the virus and one of nine cases in Berkshire County. It is unknown how he contracted the virus. He had not traveled abroad.

On March 3, the man went to the emergency room at Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington complaining of respiratory symptoms that might have mimicked pneumonia. Relatives say he previously had some of these symptoms on and off during the winter. Chest X-rays were taken, and he went home.

On March 6, his condition worsened, and a family member drove him to BMC. He was admitted with symptoms described as "general weakness and low oxygen."

His condition deteriorated further until Friday, when there were some improvements.

Doctors and nurses have worked hard to save him, relatives say.

"We're very grateful for what they've done under very difficult conditions, and we recognize how hard this is for them. The staff is doing everything, and they are on the front lines."

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or on Twitter @BE_hbellow and 41-329-6871.