BY THE NUMBERS: Berkshire County saw six new COVID-19 deaths on Sunday, for a new total of 144 deaths, with the confirmed case count up 38 to 3,020, the state Department of Public Health said.

With this daily feature, The Eagle runs down breaking local developments in the coronavirus crisis.


The DPH said 105 new deaths were reported in Massachusetts on Sunday, pushing the statewide total to 12,341. Deaths including those listed as probably caused by COVID-19 is 12,610. Confirmed cases rose 3,110 to 371,097. According to data provided by Johns Hopkins University, at least 261,672 people in Massachusetts have recovered from COVID-19.

NUMBER OF ACTIVE CASES: 79,261 statewide.

NEW YEAR, NEW LOOK AT DATA: The state plans to unveil a new “interactive dashboard” Monday offering users more ways to explore data related to the pandemic, including by time period. Marylou Sudders, the health and human services secretary, last week called the new offering "very exciting,” adding: "It will no longer be like a PowerPoint.” Sorry, Microsoft, but we can do better now.

WESTERN MASS. PICTURE: The case totals (and death counts) in neighboring counties as of Sunday: Franklin, up 8 to 1,318 (92); Hampshire, up 48 to 3,988 (up 2 to 203); Hampden, up 172 to 27,058 (up 8 to 1,063).


DEPOSITS ARRIVING: Residents of Western Massachusetts report receiving promised $600 deposits from the Treasury Department. The Internal Revenue Service and Treasury began sending electronic payments last week as part of the country’s second round of direct payments as a pandemic relief measure. First to get checks: those who received a direct payment last spring. Paper checks are also being processed, the IRS said. People who received checks last year do not need to do anything to be eligible for the new payments.

LONG-TERM CARE WATCH: As of Sunday, 31,022 cases have been confirmed among residents and staff of long-term care facilities, up 89. In all, 416 facilities have had at least one confirmed case and have seen 7,428 deaths linked to COVID-19, 27 more than Saturday.

HOSPITAL CHECK: Statewide, 2,291 people are hospitalized. Of those hospitalized, 416 are in ICU and 258 are on ventilators. Berkshire Medical Center does not update its patient numbers over the weekend.

To date, at least 11,046,093 tests for the virus have been conducted in Massachusetts, according to Johns Hopkins.

WIDER WORLD OF COVID: Global cases top 84,980,767, with 1,841,044 deaths, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has seen 20,573,505 cases and 351,277 deaths.

LEADING INDICATORS: The DPH provides the following statistics as indicators in the fight against coronavirus infection. Each provides a number and then a percentage change from the “lowest observed value.” Sunday’s figures:

– Seven-day average of new confirmed cases: 3,621, up 2,210 percent

– Seven-day weighted average of positive test rate: 8.4, up 993 percent

– Seven-day average of number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals: 2,273, up 1,364 percent

– Seven-day average of COVID-19 deaths: 58, up 450 percent

EVERETT MASKS UP: The city of Everett closed the year by mailing reusable masks to residents, for obvious reasons. The mailing also provided a link to resources about the pandemic. The masks are marked with the letter "E," a little civic pride there, as well as a QRC code that, when scanned, takes people to the COVID-19 resources section of the city's website, the State House News Service reports. "It is important that we are all being safe during these uncertain times," said Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria. "We need to continue to fight this virus and stay safe.”

INFORMATION ON TESTING: “Stop the Spread” testing sites are now 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. (It will not operate Dec. 24, Dec. 25 or Dec. 31.)

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.

To contribute news to The Checkup, please email or call 413-588-8341.

Larry Parnass can be reached at and 413-588-8341.

Investigations editor

Larry Parnass, investigations editor, joined The Eagle in 2016 from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, where he was editor in chief. His freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant and CommonWealth Magazine.