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

VACCINE CHOICES: Roughly half of U.S. adults would get a coronavirus vaccine if one were available, a new Pew Research Group report suggests.

In a survey conducted from Sept. 8-13, 51 percent of 10,093 respondents said they would definitely or probably get the vaccine, marking a decrease of 21 percentage points from May, when 72 percent had provided that response. Seventy-eight percent of respondents to the most recent survey also said they felt the vaccine development process had moved too quickly.

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a Senate subcommittee Wednesday and that most people would not have access to a vaccine until next summer. He also said face coverings are "more guaranteed to protect" people from COVID-19 than a vaccine.

THE NUMBERS: Berkshire County's death toll stood at 49 as of Thursday, with the confirmed COVID-19 case count up two to 692, the state Department of Public Health said.

The DPH said 15 new deaths were reported as of Thursday in Massachusetts, pushing the statewide total to 9,051. Deaths including those listed as probably caused by COVID-19 is 9,260. Confirmed cases rose 419 to 124,139.

The case totals (and death counts) in neighboring counties: Franklin, up one to 398 (67); Hampshire, up one to 1,200 (141); Hampden, up 31 to 7,933 (768).

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

LONG-TERM CARE PICTURE: As of Thursday, 24,755 cases have been confirmed among residents and staff of long-term care facilities, up 15. In all, 382 facilities have had at least one confirmed case and have seen 5,941 deaths linked to COVID-19, up 13.

BMC TEST RESULTS: As of Thursday, Berkshire Medical Center reported having tested 2,335 people in the past seven days, with 12 individuals receiving positive results. There were 629 pending test results.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES: Some are concerned that the coronavirus pandemic and air pollution from California's destructive wildfires can compound health risks.

There's emerging evidence that exposure to air pollution can increase risk of infection or death by COVID-19, pulmonologist Dr. Vin Gupta and California League of Conservation Voters CEO Mary Creasman wrote in a Sept. 13 article.

Health concerns also diminished volunteers' vegetation management efforts, and the number of inmate crews that typically battle the fires was cut in half.

WORLD OF COVID: Global cases top 29,994,772, with 942,989 deaths and 20,375,450 instances of recovery, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has seen 6,664,021 cases, 197,447 deaths and 2,525,573 recoveries, the school said.

LEADING INDICATORS: The state Department of Public Health 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." Thursday'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: 346, up 15 percent

- Number of hospitals using surge capacity to care: 2

- Three-day average of COVID-19 deaths: 11, up 19 percent

WILLIAMS COLLEGE REPORTS: The college's daily dashboard said the campus had administered 10,490 tests for COVID-19 since Aug. 17 and those produced three positive results.

Also, 3,063 tests in the last seven days produced one positive result.

AT THE HOSPITALS: As of Thursday, Berkshire Medical Center 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, 19 cases, four in ICU; Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, nine cases, two in ICU; Holyoke Hospital, three cases, none in ICU; Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield, eight cases, none in ICU.

The numbers include both confirmed and suspected cases.

Statewide, 377 people are hospitalized, with the latest daily admission of 181 people. Of those hospitalized, 64 are in ICU and 26 are on ventilators.

To date, 3,131,714 people have been tested for the virus, according to Johns Hopkins.

To contribute news to The Checkup, please email djin@berkshireeagle.com or call 413-496-6221.


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