Mayor Bernard gets nasal swab COVID-19 test

North Adams Mayor Thomas Bernard prepares to receive a nasal swab in a COVID-19 test, as part of a new public service announcement encouraging people to follow coronavirus pandemic precautions.

NORTH ADAMS — A new public service announcement could be rated NP.

As in, nasal passages involved.

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In an unbeat three-minute video, staff members of the city of North Adams’ COVID Operations Center and of Northern Berkshire EMS stick it to Mayor Thomas Bernard.

With Amalio “A.J.” Jusino as emcee, Bernard sits, masked, until asked to lift his mask and tip his head back. And then, voila, Lt. Daniel Gigliotti of Northern Berkshire EMS, assisted by Lt. Lynn Richardson, swab one of the mayor’s nostrils.

“We’re going to go in for 5 seconds,” Gigliotti says. Then he does.

“A little uncomfortable, but not painful,” Jusino says.

The test swab then is inserted into a tube, sealed and ready for shipment to the lab — just as it would be in an actual test. But, in this case, since it was a demonstration, the sample was not processed, Bernard said later.

“The mayor’s still with us here,” Jusino assures viewers. “He’s still smiling, and he’s still laughing.”

Bernard, seemingly unfazed, raises his arms in a “ta-da” gesture. With his mask on, who is to know if he’s smiling, though. Bernard said he volunteered to be filmed getting the swab — that part was real — during a meeting Nov. 16 at the operations center.

People in need of COVID-19 tests are instructed to call the Berkshire Medical Center hotline at 855-262-5465.

In a second scene in the announcement, Bernard, speaking into the camera, seems to channel a “Sesame Street” character in demonstrating social distancing. This is “near,” he says, then comically jogs off across pavement at the city’s airport. “Far,” he calls from a distance.

The video was shot by Matt Davis, with other photography by Nick Mantello. Northern Berkshire Community Television provided help with production.

Larry Parnass can be reached at and


Investigations editor

Larry Parnass, investigations editor, joined The Eagle in 2016 from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, where he was editor in chief. His freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant and CommonWealth Magazine.