This is a collection of information that I share each day on my Berkshire News Network Coronavirus Information Update reports, which are heard on all of our Townsquare Media Berkshire stations. If you hear it there... you'll find it here:

Friday May 22, 2020

Berkshire County Numbers:

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Berkshire County: 509

The number of COVID-19 Deaths in Berkshire County: 37

Statewide Numbers:

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts: 90,084

The number of COVID-19 Deaths in Massachusetts: 6,148

Today’s News Items:

The number confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts surged past 90,000 on Thursday as the state reported more than 1,100 new cases. 82 new deaths were reported across the state, for a total now of 6,148.

The number of COVID-19 deaths in Berkshire County held at 37 for the 16th day as of Thursday, but the county saw 12 new cases of COVID-19 since Tuesday for a new total of 509.

Berkshire Medical Center reported caring for two patients as of Thursday with neither of them being treated in intensive care. Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington reports it has no current cases.

The GKV Foundation has donated $30,000 to the Massachusetts Cultural Center to be administered as grants for theater professionals who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The application period ends May 29th.

A new program called Bon Appetit Berkshires has been formed to provide support to restaurants in and around the Southern Berkshires, and to those who have been working to keep the community physically, emotionally and financially safe during pandemic.

The Lenox Board of Selectmen is conducting a public hearing to discuss the proposed regional application for funding to the MA Community Development Block Grant COVID-19 program, appropriated through the CARES Act of 2020. The hearing will be held on Thursday, May 28th at 6:00 PM via Zoom. The session will be at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81246726803  - Access details at www.townoflenox.com

 

Recent Information:

The Pittsfield 4th of July Parade has been cancelled due to the Corona Virus pandemic. Parade Committee President Peter Marchetti says that it would not be prudent to have a gathering the size of the parade under the current conditions.

The American Legion in Sheffield says it will hold a private Memorial Day ceremony at Bernard Park – It will not be open to the public.

Town parks in Great Barrington are reopening for passive recreation but playground equipment remains off limits for now. Park visitors are reminded that individuals and family should remain six feet away from others, wear face coverings when social distancing isn't possible, and wash hands frequently. Lake Mansfield will also be open but no swimming will be allowed.

Chesterwood, in Stockbridge, is hopeful to be able to open its grounds soon. Officials expect to release information regarding an opening date within the next few weeks

Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire is applying for funding to provide free, professional technical assistance to businesses based in the southern Berkshires. Take their short survey to help them understand your business needs, you can find the link on at https://cdcsb.org/

Berkshire Country Day School in Lenox is plans to reopen the campus as soon as the state allows and is currently offering weekly virtual Open Houses and Virtual Tours for prospective families.

State Rep. Paul Mark is joining with a Hampshire County lawmaker to propose allowing cities and the state to impose freezes on increased rental costs during the COVID-19 emergency.

Southern Berkshire Elderly Transportation says that it will be opening for service on May, 26th and will be doing personal errands for you such as shopping, getting pet supplies, picking up prescriptions, and more. Officials also say they will transport clients to any medical appointment that cannot be postponed! The services will be provided at no charge to the client through June 26th.

The BSO announced on Friday that its summer season, including the popular artists series has been cancelled.

The Board of Directors of the Berkshire International Film Festival in Great Barrington has decided to cancel its 15th annual festival in 2020.

There will be no events on Memorial Day in the Village of Housatonic and the Town of Great Barrington on Monday May 25th due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Statewide mandatory face covering when in public places when not able to physical distance is now in effect. Masks are not required for those under the age of 2 or for those who have a medical condition preventing them from wearing a mask.

Gov. Baker has announced that he is ordering that Massachusetts schools remain closed though the end of the school year.

COVID-19 Resources:

As the commonwealth slowly re-opens its economy, you can be guided by the downloadable “Reopening Massachusetts” report. You can find it here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/reopening-massachusetts/download

In addition to the reopening report, you can see the new “Safer at Home Advisory” at mass.gov/covid-safe

The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office has created a resource guide to educate community members about the availability of health and safety resources during social distancing. The full resource guide is available here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/berkshire-district-attorneys-offices-covid-19-community-resource-guide/download

Though the MassHire Berkshire Career Center is closed to in-person contact, their seminars and workshops are available on a webinar platform. You can find the schedule at https://masshireberkshirecc.com/events-calendar/

The Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program (or WIC) is committed to providing families with continued support now and in the days ahead. They are able to provide all services by phone. Call 447-3495.

Unemployment benefit application for self-employed, gig economy, and other workers are now available. Learn more and apply at mass.gov/pua

Remember to wear a mask or face covering to prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially when social distancing is difficult. More info at: mass.gov/coveryourface

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has launched a new website to provide resources for health care workers and first responders in the state, and information to the public. The website is FrontlineMA.org.

You can see the latest breakdown of Massachusetts COVID-19 cases by Location, Age, Gender, and Ethnicity at the following link: DPH COVID-19 Cases Breakdown It’s updated by 4:00 PM Daily.

For the latest information on COVID-19 visit the BHS Coronavirus Information Kiosk at http://www.berkshirehealthsystems.org/coronavirus

State residents can get COVID-19 text updates by texting COVIDMA to 888-777

The symptoms of Coronavirus are coughing, fever and shortness of breath. They may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure. Residents can also check their symptoms and get other COVID-19 health related information by using a new FREE tool at buoy.com/mass

For the latest information on the Coronavirus including how to protect yourself and what to do if you become sick, visit the Federal Center for Disease Control website at cdc.gov/coronavirus

Check out the link to the Lenox Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Lenox: #LenoxLove COVID-19 Resources webpage: https://lenox.org/lenox-chamber-covid-19/

Downtown Pittsfield Inc. Has a link to COVID-19 resources on its website. Click this link: https://downtownpittsfield.com/2020/04/covid-19-resources/

Berkshire South Regional Community Center has announced Nourishing Neighbors, a new supplemental community meal program running for eight weeks and beginning today. Details are available at http://berkshiresouth.org/nourishing-neighbors/

The Town of Great Barrington has released a Mental Health and Wellness Kit, which is available at this link: https://www.townofgb.org/home/news/great-barrington-releases-mental-health-and-wellness-kit

The National Alliance on Mental Illness Berkshire County has announced its Warm Line. The Warm Line is a phone number that people can call to talk to either staff or a community trained volunteer. The number is 413-445-1136.

Community Access to the Arts has launched a series of online arts programs in order to combat the isolation that people with disabilities are experiencing during the COVID-19 crisis. Go to cataarts.org.

Looking for work? Nursing homes & Assisted Living Residences are in need of help. Find out more about the jobs available: mass.gov/covid-otnw

If you have a question about Coronavirus, you can call the BHS hotline which is available daily between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM. The number is 1-855-BMC-LINK or 1-855-262-5465.