North Adams mayor, city councilor under quarantine

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. (NEWS10) — There are seven presumptive positive cases of the coronavirus in Berkshire County. The North Adams mayor has self-quarantined after a city councilor was potentially exposed to the virus.

“I feel great. The only symptom I have is cabin fever,” said Mayor Tom Bernard, checking in as he works from home. “This is a situation where an ounce of prevention is incredibly valuable.”

Bernard says he’s playing it safe after having contact with City Council Vice President Jason LaForest this past weekend.

“I feel tired; I have a sore throat and a dry cough; very mild headache,” said LaForest, describing his mild symptoms.

LaForest learned Monday that a person he was seated next to at a meeting in Boston last week tested positive for the coronavirus.

“Tuesday morning, I woke up with some mild flu-like symptoms that would not have concerned me had it not been for that information I received Monday night,” he said.

He was tested for the coronavirus Tuesday, his results came back negative on Thursday although LaForest remains in quarantine for the rest of the 14 days. . Until then, he’s staying positive.

“Most adults who are healthy have mild symptoms and recover quickly,” he said.

“I am hopeful; I’m trying to make that optimism and not magical thinking,” said Mayor Bernard.

Bernard’s family is being affected in more ways than one. His daughter attends Williams College, where classes will go online after spring break. Everyone is required to leave campus next Tuesday, a sad prospect for seniors.

“We might never be back. I guess as seniors, if there’s graduation, we’ll be back for that, but we also don’t know,” said Ashley Conroy. “Hopefully, it’s the right call, and people are healthier than they would’ve been if we stay here.”

Just like students, many workers have the tools they need to work from home.

“For a small town American work for home on the computer do I was phone calls.”

City Councilor Keith Bona says he doesn’t expect the pair working from home to disrupt city business.

“We might not be having some of the meetings as a group, but at this point none of that has been announced,” he said.

Both the mayor and councilor are asking the public to practice hand hygiene and stay home if they’re sick.

“There are certainly people in this community, and elsewhere, who are far sicker than I am. Certainly, I’m more concerned about them than I am with myself.”

LaForest was tested Tuesday and his results came back negative.

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