Keenan House 2 (copy)

Several residents of Keenan House North in North Adams have tested positive for COVID-19 this week, but all had mild symptoms and none was hospitalized.  

NORTH ADAMS — Several residents of Keenan House North on Arnold Place have tested positive for COVID-19 during the past week, but all of the afflicted have had minor symptoms, and no one has required hospitalization, according to the The Brien Center, which manages the facility.

The first positive case was reported Oct. 29, and several other cases were reported this week as test results were returned, according to Paul Hickling, the center's vice president of service operations. Hickling declined to say how many residents have tested positive over the past week, but he said the total number is fewer than 10. Keenan House North has beds for 16 residents.

"Almost all the positive cases are people who were vaccinated," Hickling said. "It seems to be slowing.

"None at this point have gone to the hospital. They're all feeling better." 

No staffers have yet to test positive for COVID, Hickling said.

The first case was discovered after a resident with asthma who was dealing with respiratory issues tested positive, Hickling said. Only one other positive case had been reported at Keenan House North since the coronavirus pandemic struck the Berkshires last year.

"So, this is unusual," Hickling said.

Hickling said he did not know what caused the outbreak, but he said The Brien Center is taking steps to prevent the illness from spreading throughout the facility. Staffers have been using an electric static sprayer — it's a machine used by fitness centers — to disinfect surfaces in the building, he said.  

Keenan House North provides services for men and women dealing with significant mental health and substance use disorders.

Tony Dobrowolski can be reached at tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6224.