This is a collection of information that I share each day on my Berkshire News Network Coronavirus Information Update reports, which are heard on all of our Townsquare Media Berkshire stations. If you hear it there... you'll find it here:

Wednesday April 29, 2020

Berkshire County Numbers:

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Berkshire County: 430

The number of COVID-19 Deaths in Berkshire County: 31

Statewide Numbers:

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts: 58,302

The number of COVID-19 Deaths in Massachusetts: 3,153

Today’s News Items: 

During Gov. Bakers daily briefing today, Baker talked about the unemployment program which benefits the self-employed, gig economy, and other workers who don’t qualify for traditional unemployment. Learn more and apply at mass.gov/pua

The governor also stressed that those asked to do so take part in the state’s tracing program.

Berkshire County has gone a week now without a new coronavirus death. The total number of deaths from the virus remains at 31. There were two new confirmed cases bringing the total to 430.

The death count now stands at 3,153. The total number of confirmed cases is 58,302.

Roughly $789,000 in funds should be rolling out to Pittsfield residents, businesses and nonprofits next month after the City Council approved the first portion of Mayor Linda Tyer’s coronavirus relief plan. The funds are coming from the federal Cares Act.

The Select Board in Williamstown may cut back on polling hours for the annual town election which has been postponed to June. Town officials are strongly advising voters to take advantage of mail-in voting.

 

Recent Information:

Gov. Charlie Baker during his daily briefing Tuesday announced that he is extending the state’s stay-at-home advisory from May 4th to May 18 and that all nonessential businesses will remain closed. The governor also said that gatherings of more than 10 people is still prohibited.

Local members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association dispersed more than 500 protective masks on Saturday afternoon to colleagues at Berkshire Medical Center. Saturday's distribution of KN95 masks was made possible by donations.

The town of Great Barrington is extending the suspension of plastic water bottle restrictions through May 31st.

Amid the pandemic, Lee/Lenox Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Ketchen has ordered a spending freeze on all town department expenditures outside of regular payroll and utilities.

Additional nursing home staff support if being made available, including clinical response teams made up of 120 nurses and CNA's are being made available as well that can be deployed in emergency situations.

Gov. Baker has announced that he is ordering that Massachusetts schools remain closed though the end of the school year.

COVID-19 Resources:

You can get coronavirus tips and information directly from the CDC at cdc.gov/coronavirus 

Though the MassHire Berkshire Career Center is closed to in-person contact, their seminars and workshops are available on a webinar platform. You can find the schedule at https://masshireberkshirecc.com/events-calendar/

The Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program (or WIC) is committed to providing families with continued support now and in the days ahead. They are able to provide all services by phone. Call 447-3495.

Unemployment benefit application for self-employed, gig economy, and other workers are now available. Learn more and apply at mass.gov/pua

Remember to wear a mask or face covering to prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially when social distancing is difficult. More info at: mass.gov/coveryourface

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has launched a new website to provide resources for health care workers and first responders in the state, and information to the public. The website is FrontlineMA.org.

You can see the latest breakdown of Massachusetts COVID-19 cases by Location, Age, Gender, and Ethnicity at the following link: DPH COVID-19 Cases Breakdown  It’s updated by 4:00 PM Daily. 

For the latest information on COVID-19 visit the BHS Coronavirus Information Kiosk at http://www.berkshirehealthsystems.org/coronavirus  

State residents can get COVID-19 text updates by texting COVIDMA to 888-777  

The symptoms of Coronavirus are coughing, fever and shortness of breath. They may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure. Residents can also check their symptoms and get other COVID-19 health related information by using a new FREE tool at buoy.com/mass    

For the latest information on the Coronavirus including how to protect yourself and what to do if you become sick, visit the Federal Center for Disease Control website at cdc.gov/coronavirus 

Check out the link to the Lenox Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Lenox: #LenoxLove COVID-19 Resources webpage: https://lenox.org/lenox-chamber-covid-19/ 

Downtown Pittsfield Inc. Has a link to COVID-19 resources on its website. Click this link: https://downtownpittsfield.com/2020/04/covid-19-resources/

A Massachusetts Global War on Terrorism Welcome Home Bonus is now available to Massachusetts service members and Veterans amid the COVID-19 Pandemic. Apply online at VetsBonusMA.com.

Berkshire South Regional Community Center has announced Nourishing Neighbors, a new supplemental community meal program running for eight weeks and beginning today. Details are available at http://berkshiresouth.org/nourishing-neighbors/

The Town of Great Barrington has released a Mental Health and Wellness Kit, which is available at this link: https://www.townofgb.org/home/news/great-barrington-releases-mental-health-and-wellness-kit

The National Alliance on Mental Illness Berkshire County has announced its Warm Line. The Warm Line is a phone number that people can call to talk to either staff or a community trained volunteer. The number is 413-445-1136.

If you have a question about Coronavirus, you can call the BHS hotline which is available daily between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM. The number is 1-855-BMC-LINK or 1-855-262-5465. 

LIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus in Berkshire, MA