The Checkup: State residents not eager to drop work-from-home mode

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

WHAT PEOPLE THINK: A new MassINC Polling Group survey finds that most people who are working from home want to keep it that way, at least in part, once the coronavirus pandemic recedes. When that happens. Someday.

Here's the breakdown: 39 percent of people polled who are working at least part time from home said they would like to continue to do so every day; 29 percent said they would like to work from home a few days a week. One in 10 said they would be OK working from the dining table, or wherever, a few times a month. One in 20, though, said they would like to have the whole work-from-home thing dry up and blow away.

The survey polled 797 registered voters and was conducted from July 17 to July 20. Fifteen percent of those reached for the poll said working from home isn't an option.

THE NUMBERS: Berkshire County's death toll stood at 46 on Friday. The confirmed COVID-19 case count rose five, to 653, the state Department of Public Health said.

The DPH said 14 new deaths were reported in Massachusetts, pushing the statewide total to 8,389. The number of confirmed cases rose 387, to 109,787. Meantime, probable cases (a separate tally) rose by 127, to 7,825.

The case totals (and death counts) in neighboring counties: Franklin, up four, to 402 (60); Hampshire, up 19, to 1,126 (127); Hampden, up 23, to 7,404 (up four, to 696).

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As of Friday, 24,184 cases have been confirmed among residents and staff of long-term care facilities. In all, 376 facilities have had at least one confirmed case and have seen 5,486 deaths linked to COVID-19.

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 percentage change since April 15. Friday's figures:

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- Seven-day weighted average of positive test rate: 2.1, down 93 percent;

- Three-day average of number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals: 386, down 90 percent;

- Number of hospitals using surge capacity to care: 3, down 86 percent;

- Three-day average of COVID-19 deaths: 13, down 92 percent.

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TWO-WEEK LOOKBACK: The Eagle also is calculating results for a 14-day lookback on some leading indicators. As of Friday, positive tests over a seven-day period showed a 26.11 percent increase from two weeks ago. The three-day average of the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals represented a 33.17 percent decline. The three-day average of confirmed COVID-19 deaths fell 13.33 percent from two weeks ago.

AT THE HOSPITALS: As of Friday, Berkshire Medical Center reported caring for three patients, none of them in intensive care. Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington had no cases.

The COVID-19 patient count for other Western Massachusetts hospitals: Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, no cases; Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, three cases, none in ICU; Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, 17 cases, three in ICU; Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, five cases, none in ICU; Holyoke Hospital, three cases, none in ICU; Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield, no cases.

The numbers include confirmed and suspected cases.

Statewide, as of Friday there were 347 people hospitalized, with the latest daily admission of 187 people. Of those hospitalized, 58 are in ICU and 28 are on ventilators.

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


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