The Ministry of Health is monitoring the increase in COVID-19 cases.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. In the past 14 days, Pittsfield has seen 17 new cases of COVID-19 and Berkshire County has seen 36 cases.
The Department of Health says Pittsfield continues to go in this direction, it could become the yellow zone on the COVID-19 Community Level Data Map.
At the meeting of the Public Health and Safety Committee on Thursday night, Public Health Director Gina Armstrong and Chairman of the Medical Council, Dr. Alan Kulberg presented the emergency response plan to COVID-19.
“The Pittsfield Department of Health continues to work hard to keep the rest of Pittsfield and the Greater Berkshire County healthy,” says Kulberg.
The Department of Health is part of Mayor Linda Tyer’s Coronavirus Task Force, which includes representatives from various city agencies such as the police, fire, finance, and public services. This is a group of 10 people, including representatives from the Berkshire Medical Center.
The task force participates in weekly conference calls with the state’s Department of Public Health and local health agents. It also speaks with representatives of other medical councils in Berkshire County in an effort to maintain one as a county.
After the initial spring surge, Pittsfield has seen a decrease in new coronavirus cases due to increased testing and thorough contracting. The increase in the past week and a half is estimated to be due to people traveling to higher epidemic areas, direct education, and indoor gatherings because of colder weather.
Kulberg explained that public health nurse director Kayla Donnelly-Winters worked tirelessly with two other contract follow-up nurses to control transmission in the community with Kulberg as their medical advisor. A fourth nurse will be added to this team because of need.
“They showed a real devotion to the contact person involved in the outbreak,” he said. “And to set up the necessary quarantine and quarantine commands.”
Testing COVID-19 continues at Berkshire Medical Center but will soon be moved indoors to St Luke’s Square. Testing will also be available in hospitals and in some private facilities. BMC has a testing apparatus that will significantly increase testing capacity in the community.
Armstrong explains that Pittsfield has fluctuated between gray and green (less than 4 cases per 100,000) on the Community Level Data Map. The 17 new cases that Pittsfield has seen in the past two weeks is a lesser increase than Armstrong and the team had expected.
With this recent rise, Pittsfield almost stood firm with COVID-19 cases in early to mid-July.
Through public messaging and social media, Tyer is rolling out COVID-19 updates and asking citizens to strictly adhere to safety guidelines, especially when Halloween and Thanksgiving are on. come close.
“This is really an important time for us to try our best to stay out of society and not hold social gatherings where people are together for a long time,” Armstrong said. “Especially without a veil.”
Despite the rise in cases in Pittsfield, Kulberg says the majority of community members have complied by wearing masks, staying away from society, cleaning and staying home if they were sick.
“Overall, the compliance with health and safety measures in the Pittsfield community is excellent,” he said. “It is because of the community’s dedication to safety measures that we have remained in good standing throughout this pandemic.”
Public Utilities Commissioner Ricardo Morales coordinated a program to measure virus regeneration through a wastewater treatment program with Biobot Analytics, a company that maps population health by water analysis. waste. Samples were taken from Pittsfield’s wastewater and sent to Biobot, where they can detect coronavirus genetic material and if it is in the community.
It will only take about five or six residents to be positive for COVID-19 for Biobot test results back to positive. The last sample was taken on October 20 and no genetic increase in COVID-19 was detected. Kulberg said he predicts and hopes that the test proves to be sensitive enough to detect the genetic material COVID-19 in the next sampling two weeks from now after the spike.
Kulberg, Donnelly-Winters and Armstrong developed a process for helping nurses when a child gets sick at school. Many symptoms including headaches, colds, coughs and digestive symptoms could be valid signs for testing and the school nurses are preparing for that, Kulberg said.
Kulberg also made a frequently asked questionnaire to distribute to all Pediatricians in Pittsfield to inform parents about COVID-19 and what schools are prepared to do in the case of a child. sick.
Pittsfield’s Department of Health supports Tyer’s efforts to limit cheating or home treatment and is urging residents to turn off lights if they don’t want to participate.
“One of our concerns is that by curbing scams or handling house-to-house, that would encourage people to move in with parties, which is the worst-case scenario we don’t want seeing that happen and discouraging everyone Kulberg said. “You just never know who might be infected, and someone who looks healthy can carry the virus with minimal or no symptoms. “
Kulberg concluded by urging people to get a flu shot, especially those who have not been regularly vaccinated against the flu over the years.
“During this pandemic, it is especially important to limit the burden of disease in the community. “And because the more diseases, the more testing is needed and we want to save testing as much as possible, not to mention we don’t want to deal with pandemic flu and coronavirus.”
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