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The Checkup: Singing the runway blues at Bradley International

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

BRADLEY RIDERSHIP HURTING: The unwillingness of people to board a plane in the pandemic says a lot about public confidence in safety measures taken by the airlines. At Bradley International Airport, regaining that trust is a work in progress.

The Checkup visited the stats page on the airport's website. March numbers for "enplanements" (that's people getting onboard) showed that something that usually goes up just wasn't: 132,792 riders, compared to 286,170 the year before. (We'll just look at those numbers, not the count of people arriving.)

It all plunged in April. Only 9,048 people got on a plane at the Hartford airport that month; the year before, 302,915 people did. Ridership improved in May (27,941, compared to 302,763) and June (61,993, compared to 290,619). Still, travel remains depressed.

Southwest has cut the number of flights due to low ticket sales. And the airport is running a budget deficit in the $10 million range.

July travel (the most recent numbers available) ticked up, but only a bit: 76,822. In 2019, 302,636 people got on a plane at Bradley in July, the height of summer vacation travel. This year's monthly number was a quarter of that.

THE NUMBERS: Berkshire County's death toll held at 46 as of Labor Day, with the confirmed COVID-19 case count rising by two to 672, the state Department of Public Health said.

The DPH said eight new deaths were reported as of Monday in Massachusetts, pushing the statewide total to 8,925. Deaths including those listed as probably caused by COVID-19 is 9,133. Confirmed cases rose 222 to 121,046.

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The case totals (and death counts) in neighboring counties: Franklin, 396 (66); Hampshire, up one to 1,189 (141); Hampden, up 12 to 7,774 (759). No new COVID-19 deaths were reported in the four western counties.

According to data provided by Johns Hopkins University, 105,769 people in Massachusetts with COVID-19 have recovered.

LONG-TERM CARE PICTURE: As of Monday, 24,657 cases have been confirmed among residents and staff of long-term care facilities, an increase of four since Sunday. In all, 381 facilities have had at least one confirmed case and have seen 5,858 deaths linked to COVID-19, up four.

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WORLD OF COVID: Global cases as of Monday totaled 27,217,700, with 890,220 deaths and 18,168,379 instances of recovery, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has seen 6,297,021 cases, 189,122 deaths and 2,315,995 recoveries, the school said.

LEADING INDICATORS: The state Department of Public Health provides the following statistics daily as indicators in the fight against coronavirus infection. Each provides a number and then a change in either the count or "lowest observed value." Monday's figures:

- Seven-day weighted average of positive test rate: 0.9, unchanged

- Three-day average of number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals: 320, up 6 percent

- Number of hospitals using surge capacity to care: 3

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- Three-day average of COVID-19 deaths: 12, up 9 percent

WILLIAMS COLLEGE REPORTS: The college's daily dashboard said, as of Monday, that the campus had administered 5,684 tests for COVID-19 since Aug. 17 and those have produced two positive results, including one in the last 24 hours.

AT THE HOSPITALS: As of Monday, neither Berkshire Medical Center nor Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington had any COVID-19 cases.

The patient count for other western Massachusetts hospitals: Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, one case, not in ICU; Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, one case, cared for in ICU; Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, 24 cases, five in ICU; Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, eight cases, three in ICU; Holyoke Hospital, two cases, neither in ICU; Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield, one case, not in ICU.

The numbers include both confirmed and suspected cases.

Statewide, as of Monday there were 322 people hospitalized, with the latest daily admission of 139 people. Of those hospitalized, 56 are in ICU and 20 are on ventilators.

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


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