With this daily feature, The Eagle runs down breaking local developments in the coronavirus crisis.
ANOTHER SURGE IN STATE: New COVID-19 case numbers again set a one-day record for newly reported infections in Massachusetts. And not by a little. By a lot. The state’s report Thursday opened with a warning. The numbers included information from 680 tests conducted before Tuesday that were delayed in being made public. Still, even subtracting that number, the total for the day, 5,797, blew past the record set just Wednesday of 4,613.
RED ZONES: Both Pittsfield and Lenox are now labeled “high risk” (see details below). As of Thursday, they were among 97 cities and towns with that “red” designation. That number is six times higher than a month ago, when the Baker administration adjusted how it calculates which places are deemed to be at highest risk. Twenty-three municipalities joined the red list this week and seven came off. (Being placed in the red category can affect which businesses may operate.)
BY THE NUMBERS: Berkshire County’s death toll increased by one Thursday to 66. The confirmed COVID-19 case count climbed 52 to 1,780, the DPH said.
The DPH said 49 new deaths were reported in Massachusetts, pushing the statewide total to 10,637. Deaths including those listed as probably caused by COVID-19 is 10,874. Confirmed cases, as mentioned above, rose 6,477 (adding the delayed test results back in) to 232,264. According to data provided by Johns Hopkins University, at least 155,473 people in Massachusetts with COVID-19 have recovered.
NUMBER OF ACTIVE CASES: 49,225 statewide
WESTERN MASS. PICTURE: As of Thursday, the virus has claimed 1,227 lives in the four western counties. The case totals (and death counts) in neighboring counties: Franklin, up 23 to 699 (76); Hampshire, up 60 to 2,450 (up 1 to 165); Hampden, up 428 to 17,163 (up 3 to 920).
LAST TWO WEEKS AT A GLANCE: As mentioned, both Pittsfield and Lenox are now in the state’s red, high-risk zone. In its weekly report Thursday, the DPH provided this COVID-19 data for Berkshire County:
Total number of cases: 1,728
Case in last 14 days: 559
Relative change: Higher
Total tests: 145,373
Tests last 14 days: 20,731
Number positive results last 14 days: 624
Percent positive: 3.01 percent
Change in percentage of positive cases: Higher
COMMUNITY DATA: Here are this week’s figures from the DPH on confirmed coronavirus cases by city and town. In alphabetical order, this lists results for communities with five or more cases:
Adams: Total cases: up 8 to 68; cases last 14 days: 14; tests last 14 days: 768; number positives: 15
Becket: Total cases: up 2 to 21; cases last 14 days: fewer than five; tests last 14 days: 147; number positives: 3
Clarksburg: Total cases: 14; cases last 14 days: 0; tests last 14 days: 124; number positives: 0
Dalton: Total cases: up 9 to 67; cases last 14 days: 20; tests last 14 days: 787; number positives: 23
Egremont: Total cases: 8; cases last 14 days: 0; tests last 14 days: 85; number positives: 0
Great Barrington: Total cases: up 7 to 104; cases last 14 days: 16; tests last 14 days: 1,430; number positives: 17
Hinsdale: Total cases: up 2 to 10; cases last 14 days: fewer than five; tests last 14 days: 203; number positives: 3
Lanesborough: Total cases: up 7 to 35; cases last 14 days: 16; tests last 14 days: 284; number positives: 16
Lee: Total cases: up 7 to 61; cases last 14 days: 15; tests last 14 days: 628; number positives: 21
Lenox: Total cases: up 30 to 93; cases last 14 days: 48; tests last 14 days: 1,112; number positives: 55
New Marlborough: Total cases: up 1 to 10; cases last 14 days: fewer than five; tests last 14 days: 80; number positives: 1
North Adams: Total cases: up 17 to 113; cases last 14 days: 25; tests last 14 days: 2,152; number positives: 25
Pittsfield: Total cases: up 190 to 855; cases last 14 days: 354; tests last 14 days: 6,479; number positives: 398
Richmond: Total cases: up 3 to 16; cases last 14 days: fewer than five; tests last 14 days: 126; number positives: 3
Sandisfield: Total cases: up 2 to 10; cases last 14 days: fewer than five; tests last 14 days: 78; number positives: 1
Sheffield: Total cases: up 3 to 34; cases last 14 days: 7; tests last 14 days: 824; number positives: 7
Stockbridge: Total cases: up 2 to 23; cases last 14 days: 5; tests last 14 days: 303; number positives: 5
West Stockbridge: Total cases: up 5 to 15; cases last 14 days: 5; tests last 14 days: 133; number positives: 5
Williamstown: Total cases: 111; cases last 14 days: 8; tests last 14 days: 4,193; number positives: 9
LONG-TERM CARE WATCH: Through Thursday, 27,868 cases have been confirmed among residents and staff of long-term care facilities, up 92 since Wednesday. In all, 402 facilities have had at least one confirmed case and have seen 6,843 deaths linked to COVID-19, a one-day increase of 19.
CASE PROMPTS MUSEUM TO CLOSE: The Berkshire Museum will be closed Friday, as it was Thursday, due to a possible exposure risk. A person who visited tested positive for COVID-19, the institution said Thursday. It was not clear whether the person was a museum employee. People with advance tickets for entry will be contacted about new dates or refunds, the museum said. Already, efforts are underway to reach anyone who may have been in close contact with the infected person. Steps to sanitize the museum are being taken.
HOSPITAL CHECK: Berkshire Medical Center reported Thursday that it was caring for 33 COVID-19 patients, one more than Wednesday. Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington had no cases. Meantime, BMC reported having tested 39,185 people, with 1,340 positive results. There were 783 pending test results.
Statewide, 1,324 people are hospitalized, up 65 in a day. Of those hospitalized, 261 are in ICU and 137 are on ventilators. The DPH reported that the available statewide non-ICU hospital capacity dropped to 24 percent, 9 percentage points lower than Tuesday.
To date, 8,566,262 tests for the virus have been conducted in Massachusetts, according to Johns Hopkins.
WIDER WORLD OF COVID: Global cases top 65,016,336, with 1,503,107 deaths, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has seen 14,102,568 cases and 275,729 deaths.
LEADING INDICATORS: The DPH provides the following statistics as indicators in the fight against coronavirus infection. Each provides a number and then a change in either the count or “lowest observed value.” Thursday’s figures:
– Seven-day average of new confirmed cases: 2,184, up 1,294 percent
– Seven-day weighted average of positive test rate: 5.3, up 583 percent
– Seven-day average of number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals: 1,151, up 641 percent
– Seven-day average of COVID-19 deaths: 31, up 197 percent
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