DEATHS AT WINGATE: Yet another longterm care facility in Pittsfield is reporting coronavirus infections and deaths among residents. Three residents of Wingate Residences at Melbourne Place succumbed to the coronavirus, according to Alexandra Schuster, president of Wingate Healthcare. Their deaths were reported to the city this week.
She said 13 residents of the assisted-living center are battling active COVID-19 infections and 26 residents in have tested positive for COVID-19 to date, according to a city health official and Schuster.
Schuster said Thursday that 13 staff members have tested positive for the virus. All of them recovered.
According to Dr. Alan Kulberg, chairman of the city’s Board of Health, the facility is testing residents for the coronavirus every three days. Schuster said all staff and residents who are not already fighting the virus were tested Jan. 1 and Jan. 4, and all but one were negative. She said one resident who was tested was asymptomatic. Kulberg said the outbreak started on a memory care unit in the facility.
Kulberg said he spoke with representatives of Melbourne Place on Thursday. He said the facility expects all sickened residents of one memory care unit will be recovered by Saturday. Four COVID-19 positive residents in traditional care are expected to recover by Jan. 13.
Kulberg said a rapid response team from the state Department of Public Health was deployed to Melbourne Place to assist. In an email, Schuster said the company has “aggressively implemented containment strategies,” like widespread testing, disinfecting and cleaning and use of sterilization equipment and personal protective equipment to “to protect our residents and staff from cross-contamination.”
BY THE NUMBERS: Berkshire County saw two new COVID-19 deaths as of Thursday, for a new total of 157 deaths, with the confirmed case count up 78 to 3,338, 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 71 new deaths were reported in Massachusetts, pushing the statewide total to 12,634. Confirmed cases rose 7,136 to 393,188. According to data provided by Johns Hopkins University, at least 261,672 people in Massachusetts have recovered from COVID-19.
NUMBER OF ACTIVE CASES: 81,604 statewide.
WESTERN MASS. PICTURE: The case totals (and death counts) in neighboring counties: Franklin, up up 26 to 1,382 (up 1 to 93); Hampshire, up 94 to 4,292 (up 1 to 206); Hampden, up 621 to 28,830 (up 7 to 1,085).
VACCINE UPDATE: The following data on the state’s vaccine distributions is current as of Jan 5. New figures are reported Thursdays by the DPH.
Number of doses shipped to Berkshire County: 7,650
Doses shipped as percentage of county’s population: 6 percent
Total Pfizer vaccine doses received in state: 140,400 (1,950 in last seven days)
Total Moderna vaccine doses received in state: 187,600 (41,000 in last seven days)
LONG-TERM CARE WATCH: As of Thursday, 31,683 cases have been confirmed among residents and staff of long-term care facilities, a one-day rise of 119. In all, 417 facilities have had at least one confirmed case and have seen 7,523 deaths linked to COVID-19, up 22.
HOSPITAL CHECK: Berkshire Medical Center reported caring for 61 COVID-19 patients, seven more than on Wednesday. Meantime, BMC reported having tested 47,748 people, with 2,584 positive results since the pandemic began. There were 820 pending test results.
Statewide, 2,386 people are hospitalized. Of those hospitalized, 455 are in ICU and 277 are on ventilators.
To date, 11,308,785 tests for the virus have been conducted in Massachusetts, according to Johns Hopkins.
WIDER WORLD OF COVID: Global cases top 87,792,629, with 1,893,420 deaths, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has seen 21,503,004 cases and 364,218 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: 3,372
– Seven-day weighted average of positive test rate: 7.83
– Seven-day average of number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals: 2,341.8
– Seven-day average of COVID-19 deaths: 61
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.
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 email@example.com or call 413-588-8341.