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Tyer Asking Community to Help Prevent Spread of COVID-19
05:34PM / Tuesday, November 23, 2021
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer says she assembled the COVID-19 Task Force on Tuesday to discuss the latest public health data.
 
Cases of the novel coronavirus have been rising over the past several weeks. Last week, more than 400 new cases in seven days were reported, up 30 percent from the week before and double the number from a month ago. The state reported 16,650 new cases in the week ending Nov. 18, nearly double that of the week before. 
 
As of Tuesday, the number of hospitalizations statewide as jumped to nearly 750, with about two-thirds of those individuals who have not been fully vaccinated. 
 
From Nov. 9 to Nov. 22, there have been 342 confirmed positive cases in Pittsfield. As of 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," said Tyer in a press release addressing the situation this holiday week. "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."
 
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.
 
It's time go back to the basics and stick with it: Continue to wear masks, wash hands, social distance, and be mindful of gatherings with those outside of your household.
 
• Cooperate 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, take the call, share your information, and follow the guidance.
 
As a reminder, infected individuals should self-quarantine if 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, 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: 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, visit getvaccinatedberkshires.org.
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