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With this daily feature, The Eagle runs down breaking local developments in the coronavirus crisis.

CDC REVERSES CONTROVERSIAL POSITION: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says that all people, including those without symptoms, who had contact with someone with coronavirus should be tested for the virus.

Guidance posted Aug. 24 had said that those without symptoms "do not necessarily need a test," but that recommendation had come from the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the CDC, against the objection of CDC scientists, The New York Times reported.

The CDC reversed that position Friday, with public health observers reacting favorably.

THE NUMBERS: Berkshire County's death toll stood at 49 as of Friday, with the confirmed COVID-19 case count up 10, to 702, the state Department of Public Health said.

The DPH said eight new deaths were reported as of Friday in Massachusetts, pushing the statewide total to 9,059. Deaths including those listed as probably caused by COVID-19 are 9,269. Confirmed cases rose 431, to 124,570.

The case totals (and death counts) in neighboring counties: Franklin, up three, to 401 (67); Hampshire, up three, to 1,203 (141); Hampden, up 14, to 7,947 (up one, to 769).

According to data provided by Johns Hopkins University, 109,397 people in Massachusetts with COVID-19 have recovered.

LONG-TERM CARE PICTURE: As of Friday, 24,764 cases have been confirmed among residents and staff of long-term care facilities, up nine. In all, 382 facilities have had at least one confirmed case and have seen 5,946 deaths linked to COVID-19, up five.

BMC TEST RESULTS: As of Friday, Berkshire Medical Center reported having tested 2,235 people in the past seven days, with 24 individuals receiving positive results. There were 536 pending test results.

CHINA, RUSSIA PUSH AHEAD WITH VACCINE: China and Russia are rolling out COVID-19 vaccines before clinical trials are complete.

China is the sole supplier of vaccines in the Middle East, leaving some U.S. observers concerned that China is wielding the vaccine to gain favor with nations.

President Donald Trump has suggested that the U.S. might dodge medical protocols to accelerate a vaccine process, igniting worry that insufficiently tested vaccines could fail.

WORLD OF COVID: Global cases were at 30,319,277, with 948,472 deaths and 20,629,277 instances of recovery, according to Johns Hopkins. The U.S. has seen 6,713,179 cases, 198,433 deaths and 2,540,334 recoveries, the school said.

LEADING INDICATORS: The DPH provides the following statistics daily as indicators in the fight against coronavirus infection. Each provides a number and then a change in either the count or "lowest observed value." Friday's figures:

- Seven-day weighted average of positive test rate: 0.8 percent, unchanged;

- Three-day average of number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals: 356, up 18 percent;

- Number of hospitals using surge capacity to care: 5;

- Three-day average of COVID-19 deaths: 12, up 30 percent.

WILLIAMS COLLEGE REPORTS: The college's daily dashboard said the campus had administered 10,683 tests for COVID-19 since Aug. 17 and those produced three positive results. Also, 2,928 tests in the past seven days produced one positive result.

AT THE HOSPITALS: As of Friday, Berkshire Medical Center and Fairview Hospital reported no COVID-19 cases.

The patient count for other Western Massachusetts hospitals: Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, no cases; Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, no cases; Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, 17 cases, three in ICU; Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, four cases, one in ICU; Holyoke Hospital, six cases, none in ICU; Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield, three cases, none in ICU.

The numbers include confirmed and suspected cases.

Statewide, 338 people are hospitalized, with the latest daily admission of 138 people. Of those hospitalized, 62 are in ICU and 25 are on ventilators.

To date, 3,199,563 people have been tested for the virus in Massachusetts, according to Johns Hopkins.

To contribute news to The Checkup, please email lparnass@berkshireeagle.com or call 413-499-6221.


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