The following timeline shows incidents that took place over the past two months in Pittsfield. Each specific date lists the cumulative total of COVID-19 cases and deaths at the time.
Oct. 24: 240 cases; 6 deaths
Transmission occurs at Methuselah Bar and Lounge, where patrons included people celebrating a 21st birthday.
Oct. 31: 260 cases; 6 deaths
It is “closing day” for PortSmitt’s Lakeway Restaurant, the family-run eatery that has fallen victim to the economic pressures of the coronavirus pandemic. Transmission occurs at PortSmitt’s on this day, as well as during the preceding few days.
Meanwhile, approximately 20 people arrive at a Pittsfield residence where, health leaders say, there was a Halloween party and masks were not worn consistently indoors. Transmission occurs.
Nov. 3: 269 cases; 6 deaths
The Brick House Pub in Housatonic elects to shut temporarily, after one of its servers learned that others who had attended the same Halloween party had tested positive. The server would go on to test positive, too.
Nov. 5: 291 cases; 6 deaths
Methuselah elects to close temporarily, after learning from a patron that he tested positive after visiting Oct. 24. The Olde Heritage Tavern in Lenox closes for two days, after customers reported receiving a positive COVID-19 test result one day after eating there.
Nov. 6: 307 cases; 6 deaths
Mayor Linda Tyer attributes an “alarming rise” in new coronavirus cases to large private gatherings — namely, house parties and groups dining together at restaurants.
Nov. 7: 313 cases; 6 deaths
Guido’s Fresh Marketplace reduces capacity limits after two employees of its store tested positive for COVID-19. Staffers who had direct contact with the positive employees enter quarantine. Guido’s later reports “there is no evidence” that the virus spread within the store.
Nov. 9: 343 cases; 6 deaths
Zucchini’s and the Roasted Garlic electively close in response to positive COVID-19 tests received by one employee at each establishment. The owners advise anyone who ate at either location over the past week to monitor their health.
Nov. 11: 366 cases; 6 deaths
A data dump from a MedExpress testing site in Pittsfield reveals 104 people tested positive over the previous two weeks.
Nov. 12: 382 cases; 6 deaths
The Board of Health issues an emergency order to move backward on the state’s reopening plan. Officials announce the suspension of in-person learning, and indoor restaurant dining is suspended until further notice.
Nov. 18: 488 cases; 6 deaths
Hillcrest Commons Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Pittsfield reports its first coronavirus infections of the entire pandemic. Two residents and one staff member are sickened.
Nov. 24: 597 cases; 10 deaths
City health data reports the first coronavirus deaths in Pittsfield since June 30. Soon after, Tyer reveals that four residents of Hillcrest Commons had died of COVID-19.
Nov. 26: 636 cases; 14 deaths
Tyer warns state and local officials about a “very serious situation” unfolding at Hillcrest.
Nov. 27: 667 cases; 15 deaths
The Hillcrest outbreak worsens, and the coronavirus death toll rises to eight.
Dec. 1: 857 cases; 16 deaths
Dec. 2: 876 cases; 19 deaths
The Board of Health allows indoor dining to resume, while imposing stricter rules than before, as cases and deaths continue rising. Health leaders say the spread of the virus slowed during the three-week indoor dining pause — if you don’t count the nursing home.
Dec. 6: 960 cases; 33 deaths
The death toll at Hillcrest Commons spikes to 24 from the 15 deaths reported days earlier.
Dec. 7-Dec. 22: Infections trend downward after a post-Thanksgiving spike in average daily cases.
Dec. 21: 1,267 cases; 46 deaths
The number of people killed by COVID-19 at Hillcrest rises to 41. To date, 15 residents of Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center in Lenox, also owned by Berkshire Healthcare, have died.
Sources: Pittsfield’s COVID-19 Community Impact Dashboard; articles published in The Berkshire Eagle; reporting by The Eagle.