The sign and building of the North Adams Commons

Thirty residents and five staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 at the North Adams Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center as of Monday.

North Adams Commons COVID outbreak expands; Berkshire spread 'substantial'

NORTH ADAMS — The number of COVID-19 cases at North Adams Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center grew to 35 as of midday Monday.

“We now have 30 residents who are positive as of today,” said Lisa Gaudet, vice president of business development and communications at Berkshire Healthcare.

“Twenty five are at North Adams Commons. Five are at the hospital. We also have five staff that are positive. In those numbers, we have basically all of those folks are vaccinated with the exception of two residents and two staff.”

The facility, which has 91 residents, is working on contact tracing at North Adams Commons. “That will take awhile,” Gaudet said.

In an interview with The Eagle last week, the facility reported 22 cases. Before the current cases, North Adams Commons had not seen a positive case since April 2020, according to Gaudet.

Visits to North Adams Commons are suspended, and the facility is providing monoclonal antibody treatment to those who have COVID-19, Gaudet said.

There are no other cases at other Berkshire Healthcare facilities, Gaudet said, but changes are being implemented.

“We are also not just at North Adams Commons, but in all of our facilities moving to testing all of our unvaccinated staff before the beginning of their shift with rapid tests,” she said. “That’s something new that we are doing.”

Across all facilities, rapid tests will be offered for visitors, too, which Gaudet said will be encouraged.

Vaccines are effective, and a small percentage of vaccinated people will get COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of July 4, 89 percent of residents and 67 percent of staff at North Adams Commons had gotten vaccinated for COVID-19, according to Gaudet. Across all facilities, 94 percent of residents and 76 percent of staff were vaccinated, she said.

Overall at Berkshire Health Systems, about 80 percent of employees are vaccinated, Michael Leary, director of media relations, said last week. When asked Friday if BHS would require staff to be vaccinated, Leary said: “We have not made any decision on that.”

Greta Jochem can be reached at gjochem@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6272.

Reporter

Greta Jochem, a Report for America Corps member, joined the Eagle in 2021. Previously, she was a reporter at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. She is also a member of the investigations team.