With this daily feature, The Eagle runs down breaking local developments in the coronavirus crisis.
‘SNITCH LINE’ REPORTS: Nothing ticks off a compliant follower of coronavirus precautions, it seems, quite like the pandemic “nose commando.”
People who wear their masks below their noses have been a common target in the calls received by a state-run hotline.
Since March, the Massachusetts 2-1-1 “snitch line,” as some call it, has taken more than 200,000 complaints about people who risk transmitting COVID-19 by not following rules to contain the spread of the disease, according to a story in the Boston Herald.
Other common complaints: gatherings that exceed the proper number in the state’s current reopening phase, campus parties, crowded ferries and even a neighbor seen to be spitting.
Aside from providing alerts about violations, callers have taken aim at the Charlie Baker administration and the governor himself, with at least one caller saying that steps to curtail their virus amount to “treason.”
The anonymous 211 hotline is one of several run by state agencies that invite whistleblower tips.
Separately, the state works to monitor compliance with pandemic safety orders through the COVID-19 Enforcement and Intervention Team. That group has reportedly inspected 5,000 businesses in at least 75 Massachusetts communities.
The team has been dispatched to communities like Chelsea, Lawrence and Lynn that have been hot spots for new infections.
Other inspections have been conducted by the Massachusetts State Police, the Alcoholic Beverage and Control Commission, the Department of Labor Standards and the Division of Professional Licensure, according to Baker’s office.
Virus safety violations in workplaces can be reported to the Attorney General’s Office by calling its Fair Labor hotline at 617-727-3465.
The enforcement team has provided audio alerts in several languages that municipalities can use to request public compliance with safety measures.
THE NUMBERS: Berkshire County’s death toll held at 51 as of Tuesday, with the confirmed COVID-19 case count at 725, the state Department of Public Health said.
The DPH said eight new deaths were reported in Massachusetts, pushing the statewide total to 9,323. Deaths including those listed as probably caused by COVID-19 is 9,538. Confirmed cases rose 454 to 133,359.
The case totals (and death counts) in neighboring counties: Franklin, 420 (69); Hampshire, up six to 1,333 (148); Hampden, up 41 to 8,574 (up one to 791).
According to data provided by Johns Hopkins University, 113,768 people in Massachusetts with COVID-19 have recovered.
LONG-TERM CARE PICTURE: As of Tuesday, 25,128 cases have been confirmed among residents and staff of long-term care facilities, a one-day increase of 24. In all, 387 facilities have had at least one confirmed case (one more than Monday) and have seen 6,150 deaths linked to COVID-19, up three.
BMC TEST RESULTS: As of Tuesday, Berkshire Medical Center reported having tested 28,051 people, with 663 positive results. There were 321 pending test results.
WORLD OF COVID: Global cases top 35,654,271, with 1,046,809 deaths, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has seen 7,494,357 cases and 210,762 deaths.
LEADING INDICATORS: The state Department of Public Health 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.” Tuesday’s figures:
• Seven-day weighted average of positive test rate: 1.1, up 42 percent
• Three-day average of number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals: 468, up 55 percent
• Number of hospitals using surge capacity to care: 4
• Three-day average of COVID-19 deaths: 10, up 7 percent
AT THE COLLEGES: The Williams College daily dashboard said the campus had administered 17,215 tests for COVID-19 since Aug. 17 and those produced five positive results. Also, 3,290 tests in the last seven days produced one positive. The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts said that as of Sept. 30 it had three cases. Bard College at Simon’s Rock said that as of Friday it had two cases.
AT THE HOSPITALS: As of Tuesday, Berkshire Medical Center reported caring for one COVID-19 patient. Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington had no cases.
The patient count for other western Massachusetts hospitals: Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, no cases; Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, one case; Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, 30 cases; Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, three cases; Holyoke Hospital, two cases; Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield, two cases. The numbers include both confirmed and suspected cases.
Statewide, 494 people are hospitalized, with the latest daily admission of 197 people. Of those hospitalized, 85 are in ICU and 31 are on ventilators.
To date, 4,416,428 people in Massachusetts have been tested for the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.