2020-11-06-TESTING (copy)

The numbers of COVID-19 cases in Adams, Lee and Williamstown over the past two weeks has led the state to classify those towns as high risk for infection.

The state considers Adams, Lee and Williamstown to be high risk for COVID-19 transmission, according to the latest categorization by the Department of Public Health.

For towns that have a population below 10,000, the state considers any community with more than 25 total cases in the past two-week period to be at high risk for transmission.

The state’s high-risk list, which now shows 59 of the 351 Massachusetts communities, has included Adams and Williamstown for three consecutive weeks, while Lee returned to the list after it was classified as moderate risk for two weeks.

Dalton, North Adams and Pittsfield are considered moderate risk, and Great Barrington is considered lower risk. All other communities in the county are considered lowest risk for infection.

Williamstown ranks first among Massachusetts communities for most COVID-19 tests administered per resident. Testing at Williams College bumps up the testing rate for the town to 103,573.5 tests per 100,000 residents, a rate five times the state average. 

While the town has a test positivity rate of 0.39 percent for the past 14 days, testing at the college — 8,164 tests in the past 14 days yielded three positive results — has driven down that rate.

The 3.56 percent test positivity rate in Adams and 5.07 percent rate in Lee both exceed the state average of 2.30 percent. 


BY THE NUMBERS: Berkshire County saw 34 new COVID-19 cases as of Thursday, for a new total of 5,989 cases, the state Department of Public Health said. To date, 282 people have died of COVID-19 in the county. A week ago, the death total was 281 and the case total was 5,770. A month ago, the death total was 266 and the case total was 4,998.

The DPH said five new deaths were reported in Massachusetts, pushing the statewide total to 17,087. Confirmed cases rose 1,884 to 626,550.

NUMBER OF ACTIVE CASES: 35,478 statewide, compared to 35,149 a week ago; 691 active cases in Pittsfield, compared to 573 a week ago; 368 Pittsfield households are in quarantine. It was 291 a week ago.

VACCINATION COUNT: According to figures released Thursday by the state, 10,630 additional vaccine doses were provided to Berkshire County over the past seven days.

The 96,290 doses shipped to the county as of Tuesday represent 76 percent of the population. Forty-five percent of people in the county have received at least one dose, and 30 percent are fully vaccinated.

COMMUNITY DATA: Here are this week’s figures from the DPH on confirmed coronavirus cases by city and town. In alphabetical order, this lists all Berkshire County communities. The first number is the total number of cases during the pandemic. The second is the number of new cases in the last 14 days.

  • Adams: 304, 31
  • Alford: fewer than 5, 0 
  • Becket: 67, 10
  • Cheshire: 110, 7 
  • Clarksburg: 39, fewer than 5
  • Dalton: 270, 16
  • Egremont: 16, fewer than 5
  • Florida: 11, 0
  • Great Barrington: 428, 14 
  • Hancock: 17, 0
  • Hinsdale: 69, fewer than 5
  • Lanesborough: 103, fewer than 5
  • Lee: 325, 26
  • Lenox: 226, 7
  • Monterey: 18, 0
  • Mount Washington: 7, 0
  • New Ashford: fewer than 5, 0
  • New Marlborough: 23, 0
  • North Adams: 507, 80
  • Otis: 55, fewer than 5
  • Peru: 10, 0
  • Pittsfield: 2,718, 219
  • Richmond: 42, fewer than 5
  • Sandisfield: 34, fewer than 5
  • Savoy: 16, fewer than 5
  • Sheffield: 105, 10
  • Stockbridge: 65, 0
  • Tyringham: 8, 0
  • Washington: 9, fewer than 5
  • West Stockbridge: 40, fewer than 5
  • Williamstown: 285, 28
  • Windsor: 22, 0

WESTERN MASS. PICTURE: The case totals (and death counts) in neighboring counties: Franklin, up 7 to 2,348 (110); Hampshire, up 19 to 8,702 (284); Hampden, up 197 to 48,517 (up 2 to 1,474).

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HOSPITAL CHECK: Berkshire Medical Center reported caring for nine COVID-19 patients; no cases were reported at Fairview Hospital.

Statewide, 710 people are hospitalized. Of those hospitalized, 162 are in ICU and 102 are on ventilators.

WIDER WORLD OF COVID: Global cases top 138,662,915, with 2,978,697 deaths, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has seen at least 31,477,366 cases and 565,067 deaths.

LEADING INDICATORS: The DPH provides the following statistics as indicators in the fight against coronavirus infection. Thursday’s figures:

– Seven-day average of new confirmed cases: 1,394.9. That is down from 1,579 on Feb. 15.

– Seven-day weighted average of positive test rate: 2.30 percent. That is up from 2.19 percent on Feb. 15.

– Seven-day average of number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals: 707.9. That is down from 1,258 on Feb. 15.

– Seven-day average of COVID-19 deaths: 8.1. That is down from 38.9 on Feb. 15.

AT THE COLLEGES: Local colleges report the following number of cases in the past week of reported testing: 

JUST THE FAQS: The Berkshire Eagle is regularly updating answers to frequently asked questions about access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Visit the Vax FAQs in the Coronavirus section on the home page at berkshireeagle.com.

COVID-19 WEBSITE AND INFOLINE: For information on vaccines and to schedule an appointment, when you are eligible, visit getvaccinatedberkshires.org. The city of Pittsfield is providing access by phone to weekly updates about access to the novel coronavirus vaccine in the city and in Berkshire County. A recorded message is posted at 413-449-5575.

INFORMATION ON TESTING: “Stop the Spread” testing sites are open at three Berkshire Health Systems locations. Tests will be conducted for any reason, with the state picking up the cost. To schedule a test, call the toll-free hotline, 855-262-5465, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.

Locations are: Pittsfield, 505 East St., St Luke’s Square, adjacent to BHS Urgent Care Center; North Adams, 98 Church St., next to the city library; Great Barrington: 475 Main St. Tests can also be obtained through CVS by filling out a form online.

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How can we make The Checkup better or more informative? Email us at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com.

Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com and 413-588-8341.

Statehouse Reporter

Danny Jin is the Eagle's Statehouse reporter. A graduate of Williams College, he previously interned at the Eagle and The Christian Science Monitor. Danny can be reached at djin@berkshireeagle.com or on Twitter at @djinreports.