PITTSFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Coronavirus cases in Massachusetts now top 100, including nine in Berkshire County.
Governor Charlie Baker traveled to Berkshire County Thursday afternoon, to discuss preparedness for the coronavirus. Gov. Baker announced that there are now 108 cases of COVID-19 statewide, however, state public health officials now have the capacity to test more people for the virus.
Massachusetts lawmakers have approved a $15 million supplemental budget to help the state respond. Federal courts are delaying jury trials, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Residents are definitely nervous, but they still want their normal life to continue. Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer confirmed that two Pittsfield residents have tested positive for the coronavirus and are hospitalized. Seven others are under quarantine and another six residents had to complete a two-week quarantine, but they have returned back to work.
As of Thursday evening, there are no known direct links between the two new cases and the seven possible cases. Residents said the news is scary but, they can’t change their life too much because of the virus.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is reporting seven presumptive cases of the coronavirus in Berkshire County, including cases in Otis and Clarksburg. Several employees of Berkshire Medical Center have been placed on paid leave for two weeks as a precaution against the coronavirus, hospital spokesperson Michael Leary said.
An event marking the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage in 1620 has been postponed. Comic Con in Boston that was to feature Hollywood stars has been postponed. The Boston hotel linked a cluster of coronavirus cases in the U.S. has closed. And state officials are trying to adapt to coronavirus concerns as Massachusetts launches its decennial census efforts.
“I mean don’t freak out, live your lives, it’s scary we get that but other than that just try to get through it,” said Mike Cookson of Pittsfield.
Gov. Baker said the Berkshire County cases are still the most concerning and are being closely monitored by officials.
“The DPH is currently monitoring the small number of cases of community transmission of unknown origin in Berkshire County,” said Gov. Baker.
The governor also said state public health officials now have the capacity to test more people for the virus, in fact, an additional 5,000 more people.