A WELCOME LOW WITH ONE STATE DATA POINT: Three people died as a result of COVID-19, the state Department of Public Health said Tuesday. That is the lowest daily total since Aug. 5, when the DPH reported two deaths. The seven-day average of deaths, as of Tuesday, as 7.1.
Tuesday’s daily number came almost one year after one of the highest death totals in the course of the pandemic. On April 24, 2020, the state DPH reported a seven-day average of 174.7 deaths. The most recent high, in terms of deaths, came Jan. 28, when the seven-day average was 76.9.
VACCINE REPORT: Gov. Charlie Baker, who is due Thursday to visit the Berkshire Community College vaccination clinic, says he expects the state’s vaccine program to accelerate, with supplies up and little apparent public reluctance, compared to other places.
On Monday, eligibility for vaccines opened to everyone 16 or older. "I fully expect that over the course of the next 20-30 days, we will see a lot of traffic,” Baker said. “One of the things that's been clear to us for a while but showed up recently in some of the research that has been done is that people in Massachusetts want to get vaccinated. There's very little hesitancy here. And I hope that translates into a lot of appointments, every day, every week for the next few weeks."
As of Tuesday, 2,095,808 people in Massachusetts are fully vaccinated; 1.2 million people are considered “half” vaccinated. That includes the latest daily administration of 79,162 doses reported Tuesday,
BY THE NUMBERS: Berkshire County saw no new COVID-19 deaths as of Tuesday, leaving the total at 282 deaths, with the confirmed case count up 16 to 6,095, the state Department of Public Health said. A week ago, the death total was 281 and the case total was 5,925. On March 21, the death total was 269 and the case total was 5,155.
As mentioned, the DPH said three new deaths were reported in Massachusetts, pushing the statewide total to 17,138. Confirmed cases rose 968 to 633,675. It is the first time in a month that the number of new cases fell below 1,000.
NUMBER OF ACTIVE CASES: 33,060 statewide, compared to 35,857 a week ago; 737 active cases in Pittsfield, compared to 656 a week ago; 397 Pittsfield households are in quarantine. It was 347 a week ago.
WESTERN MASS. PICTURE: The case totals (and death counts) in neighboring counties: Franklin, up 3 to 2,388 (111); Hampshire, up 16 to 8,794 (289); Hampden, up 172 to 49,307 (up 1 to 1,482).
HOSPITAL CHECK: Berkshire Medical Center reported caring for 3 COVID-19 patients, down from 8 a week ago and 11 on March 22; no cases were reported at Fairview Hospital. Statewide, 708 people are hospitalized, down from 714 a week ago. Of those hospitalized, 168 are in ICU and 102 are on ventilators.
WIDER WORLD OF COVID: Global cases top 142,456,745, with 3,035,844 deaths, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has seen at least 31,779,242 cases and 568,284 deaths.
LEADING INDICATORS: The DPH provides the following statistics as indicators in the fight against coronavirus infection. Tuesday’s figures:
– Seven-day average of new confirmed cases: 1,182. That is down from 1,579 on Feb. 15.
– Seven-day weighted average of positive test rate: 2.11. That is down a hair from 2.19 on Feb. 15.
– Seven-day average of number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals: 705. That is down from 1,258 on Feb. 15.
– Seven-day average of COVID-19 deaths: 7.1. That is down from 38.9 on Feb. 15.
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.
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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