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Positive picture for COVID-19 in Pittsfield

BOH March 16

Pittsfield Director of Public Health Andy Cambi, center at right, offers a COVID-19 update to the Board of Health on Wednesday. The concentration of viral tracers in the city's wastewater is "remaining low," Cambi said.

PITTSFIELD — The picture of COVID-19 in Pittsfield continues to inspire confidence in the city’s health director.

On Wednesday, Andy Cambi, the director of public health, addressed the Board of Health on the state of the coronavirus pandemic. The city remains at “moderate” risk for coronavirus based on its positive case numbers and test positivity rate, an improvement from the height of the omicron wave this winter.

The concentration of viral tracers in the city’s wastewater also is “remaining low,” Cambi said — another hopeful sign. According to data the city posts online, 76 percent of eligible city residents are vaccinated.

“We, as a community, I think we’ve done very well,” Cambi said. “I thank everybody in the community for attending all the clinics and getting their shots for the COVID-19.”

Cambi offered an update about operations at the city’s Stop the Spread COVID-19 testing site at Berkshire Medical Center. The site will stop performing no-cost COVID-19 tests April 1, Cambi said, though tests “will be available at a cost or through insurance.”

As a backup, the city has at-home tests on hand, he said, and is ready to launch a distribution site, should there be such a need.

“If we do need to ramp up an at-home test kit site, drive-thru site, we will be prepared to do that with staff,” he said.

Last month, the board lifted the city’s face mask directive for indoor spaces. Cambi said the transition from mandatory masking in those settings was smooth, and noted that many community members continue to mask, while members of “vulnerable population(s)” should continue to cover their mouths and noses.

Pittsfield drops indoor mask directive in favor of advisory aligned with the state

Also, the Health Department recently has welcomed a number of new hires. Andrew Gagnon, a member of the Pittsfield Fire Department, is joining as the city’s new nuisance control officer, Cambi said.

“He had a lot experience working within the city department already,” Cambi said. “He’s hit the ground running.”

Also joining the department are Timothy O’Donald as sanitarian, and Pat Tremblay as the city’s public health nurse, according to Cambi.

In December, Tremblay, who at the time was serving as public health nurse coordinator, and Cambi were the finalists for the role of director of public health, a job Cambi had been performing on an interim basis.

Tremblay withdrew her name from consideration, and Cambi assumed the role on a permanent basis.

Amanda Burke can be reached at aburke@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6296.

Cops and Courts Reporter

Amanda Burke is Cops and Courts Reporter for The Berkshire Eagle. An Ithaca, New York native, she previously worked at The Herald News of Fall River and the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise.

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