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

OUTBREAKS AVOIDED IN AFRICA: Most African countries have avoided large coronavirus outbreaks, having implemented strong preventive measures.

Several observers in the West had speculated the virus could devastate the continent. Yet South Africa — the African nation hardest-hit by COVID-19 — has a death rate of 28 per 100,000 people, less than half of what the United States has seen.

Some credit the effectiveness of policies taken by African countries and say the rest of the world can learn from those examples. Rwanda used equipment and infrastructure that had previously been used to combat HIV/AIDS, and it made COVID-19 testing and treatment free. Libera, which had been hit hard by the 2013-2016 Ebola virus outbreak, began screening for COVID-19 at airports and quarantining travelers from countries with high case counts shortly after it saw its first case in March.

African countries' experience with the virus defies Western stereotypes of the continent, writes Karen Attiah, the Washington Post's global opinions editor.

THE NUMBERS: Berkshire County's death toll stood at 49 as of Sunday, with the confirmed COVID-19 case count up four to 711, the state Department of Public Health said.

The DPH said 13 new deaths were reported in Massachusetts, pushing the statewide total to 9,191. Deaths including those listed as probably caused by COVID-19 is 9,404. Confirmed cases rose 594 to 128,426.

The case totals (and death counts) in neighboring counties: Franklin, 410, up two (68); Hampshire, 1,226, up four (144, up one); Hampden, 8,199, up 52 (776, up one).

According to data provided by Johns Hopkins University, 111,479 people in Massachusetts with COVID-19 have recovered.

LONG-TERM CARE PICTURE: As of Sunday, 24,841 cases have been confirmed among residents and staff of long-term care facilities. In all, 383 facilities have had at least one confirmed case and have seen 6,040 deaths linked to COVID-19.

WORLD OF COVID: Global cases top 32,942,810, with 995,583 deaths, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has seen 7,104,943 cases and 204,721 deaths.

PRISON VISITS TO RESUME: Most Department of Correction facilities will once again allow in-person visits starting Monday, after visits had been put on pause in March. Some jails, including a handful in Berkshire County, are still planning on hosting virtual visits.

Inmates can receive one personal visit per week, with up to two visitors, and visits must be scheduled 24 hours in advance. Visitors must go through a screening process when they arrive at the prison. They must also use hand sanitizer, and both visitors and inmates must wear a face covering.

Attorney visits had continued through the personal visit suspension and remain ongoing.

LEADING INDICATORS: The state Department of Public Health provides the following statistics as indicators in the fight against coronavirus infection. Each provides a number and then a change in either the count or "lowest observed value." Sunday's figures:

- Seven-day weighted average of positive test rate: 0.8 percent, no change

- Three-day average of number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals: 384, up 27 percent

- Number of hospitals using surge capacity to care: two

- Three-day average of COVID-19 deaths: 10, up 7 percent

AT THE COLLEGES: The Williams College daily dashboard said the campus had administered 13,920 tests for COVID-19 since Aug. 17 and those produced three positive results among students and one among faculty and staff. Also, 2,443 tests in the last seven days produced one positive result.

The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts said it has tested 1,797 people with three positive results. In the last seven days, 515 tests found one positive case.

AT THE HOSPITALS: As of Sunday, neither Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield nor Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington were caring for COVID-19 patients.

Statewide, 408 people are hospitalized, with the latest daily admission of 157 people. Of those hospitalized, 79 are in ICU and 27 are on ventilators.

To date, 3,780,020 people in Massachusetts have been tested for the virus, according to Johns Hopkins.

To contribute news to The Checkup, please email lparnass@berkshireeagle.com or call 413-588-8341.

This story has been corrected to reflect that there were no COVID-19 cases in either Berkshire County hospital.


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