With COVID-19 cases on the rise in Pittsfield, Mayor Linda Tyer assembled the COVID-19 Task Force on Tuesday to discuss the latest public health data and what the public needs to keep in mind as the holiday season kicks off this week.

From Nov. 9 to Nov. 22, there have been 342 confirmed positive cases in Pittsfield. As of yesterday, Tuesday, Nov. 23, the 14-day average per 100,000 is 51.98 and the 14-day positivity rate is 5.10 percent. The rising numbers moved the city back into the state’s red category, meaning Pittsfield is classified as higher risk for COVID-19 transmission.
This is certainly discouraging because we’ve all worked so hard to keep moving forward in the right direction. But this is certainly not the time for us to give up. The most important thing that we can all do is to keep our schools open. Each of our individual actions will either have a positive or negative impact on our community. We each have the power to make that choice and it’s my hope that our community will reflect on this data and think about what we can do as individuals to get back on the right track.
Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer.
The COVID-19 Task Force has identified the following items that the public should keep in mind to keep themselves and the community at-large safe:
  • COVID safety and health protocols: It’s time go back to the basics and stick with it. Continue to wear your masks, wash your hands, social distance, and be mindful of gatherings with those outside of your household.
  • Cooperation with contact tracers: The Health Department continues to report that it’s continuing to experience little to no cooperation with its contact tracing efforts. Contact tracing is absolutely essential to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and the public has a role to play in ensuring this is done well.
  • If a contact tracer reaches out, please take the call, share your information, and follow the guidance.
As a reminder, please self-quarantine if you are not fully vaccinated and have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. To arrange a test through Berkshire Medical Center’s testing site, please call the BMC Link Line, which is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days a week, at 855-262-5465.
Vaccinations and boosters:
If you haven’t been vaccinated, now’s the time. All three authorized vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson), have been proven to be safe and effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death. The vaccine, which is free for all who live, work, and attend school in the Commonwealth, is now available to children ages 5-11. For those who have already been vaccinated (providing a six-month window after the last vaccine), booster shots are also available to state residents 18 and older.
To learn more and for a schedule of upcoming pediatric vaccination clinics, please visit getvaccinatedberkshires.org.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.