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Pittsfield COVID Rates Remain Low for Thanksgiving
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
10:36AM / Friday, November 25, 2022
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city for the most part remains on the downward trend from two fall COVID-19 surges as the region enters the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Last week, Director of Public Health Andy Cambi reported to the City Council that Pittsfield is recovering from two fall surges.  He did remind the panel of last year's holiday surge that pushed the city into the red zone and said residents should always be thinking about protecting themselves.

Because other metrics don't include at-home tests, Cambi has indicated that the city's Biobot sewage testing is the truest way to gauge the virus's impact on the community.

The city on Sunday showed a virus concentration of 699,000 copies per liter, which is higher than last week’s concentration of 507,000 copies per liter but lower than the 2.7 million copies per liter that the city showed in mid-October.

Starting the week, there were 15 daily cases per 100,000, down from 15.9 last week and only five new cases reported.

Other metrics have seen a slight increase but remain much lower than the rates in October.

The percent positivity rate of 6.4 has increased from 5.6 percent last week as well as the estimated actively contagious cases, which have increased from 30 to 42.  

Both remain significantly lower than last month when positivity rates were about 10 percent and case counts were around 100.

The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has provided schools with free tests for students and staff to bring home over the weekend. They are being asked to test on Sunday in hopes of avoiding any post-holiday surges. 

The city remains in the "red zone" for transmission, having more than 10 cases per 100,000 and a positivity rate above five percent. It has essentially remained in this category since last year with some reprieve in the spring that put the city in the lesser "yellow zone."

Next week marks the return of the in-person tree lighting, which was not able to happen in 2020 or 2021 due to the pandemic. Last month also saw the return of the city's Halloween parade.

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