Virus Outbreak Vaccines Incentives (copy)

VACCINATION INCENTIVES: A woman walks into Ohio's COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic at Cleveland State University on Tuesday in Cleveland. Nearly 2.8 million residents have registered for Ohio's Vax-a-Million vaccination incentive program, with participants hoping to win either the $1 million prize for adults or a full-ride college scholarship for children, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday. Some states have doled out incentives for residents to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

More than half of Massachusetts residents are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The 3,520,075 fully vaccinated people counted by the Department of Public Health on Wednesday represent just over half of the 7,029,917 people counted in the 2020 Census.

While estimated active cases have been falling in the state for weeks, COVID-19 hospitalizations ticked up Wednesday. The 264 hospitalizations that the state reported Wednesday represent an increase of 16 from Tuesday. In addition, patients in ICU rose by four to 78 and those on ventilators rose by three to 43.

BY THE NUMBERS: Berkshire County saw no new COVID-19 deaths as of Wednesday, leaving the total at 286 deaths, with the confirmed case count up seven to 6,521, the state Department of Public Health said. A week ago, the death total was 285 and the case total was 6,497. A month ago, the death total was 282 and the case total was 6,224.

The DPH said seven new deaths were reported in Massachusetts, pushing the statewide total to 17,482. Confirmed cases rose 382 to 660,298.

NUMBER OF ACTIVE CASES: 8,416 statewide, compared to 11,924 a week ago.

WESTERN MASS. PICTURE: The case totals (and death counts) in neighboring counties: Franklin, up 3 to 2,567 (113); Hampshire, up 4 to 9,136 (296); Hampden, up 32 to 52,113 (up 1 to 1,517).

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

Statewide, 264 people are hospitalized. Of those hospitalized, 78 are in ICU and 43 are on ventilators.

WIDER WORLD OF COVID: Global cases top 168,093,701, with 3,492,129 deaths, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has seen at least 33,186,016 cases and 591,908 deaths.

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

– Seven-day average of new confirmed cases: 229.9. That is down from 1,579 on Feb. 15.

– Seven-day weighted average of positive test rate: 0.86 percent. That is down from 2.19 percent on Feb. 15.

– Seven-day average of number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals: 283.8. That is down from 1,258 on Feb. 15.

– Seven-day average of COVID-19 deaths: 5.0. 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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Material from the State House News Service may have been included in this report. How can we make The Checkup better or more informative? Email us at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com.

Danny Jin can be reached at djin@berkshireeagle.com and 413-496-6221.

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.