Hillcrest Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is suffering a devastating outbreak of COVID-19 after having avoided the virus completely for nine months.
Within a few weeks, 75 percent of its residents were infected with the novel coronavirus and 32 had. Hillcrest has now accounted for nearly 80 percent of all deaths from the virus in Pittsfield.
Lisa Gaudent, vice president of Berkshire Healthcare Systems, which operates Hillcrest along with 14 other long-term care centers, said the past weeks have been painful for both residents and staff members who care for them.
 As of Thursday, 73 Hillcrest residents were COVID-19 positive and 13 were at Berkshire Medical Center. Fifty residents have recovered and are no longer considered actively infected, and 32 have passed away.
Thirty-eight members of the staff are currently positive and 45 who were previously positive have recovered.
Before the breakout, Hillcrest had 224 residents; it is now down to about 162 from a combination of discharges, hospitalizations and deaths.
Hillcrest Commons is feeling a sense of relief after last week's announcement that Berkshire Medical Center would be one of the first hospitals receiving the Pfizer vaccine and long-term care patients and workers were being prioritized for distribution on a federal and state level.
Read all the details on this and other stories on iBerkshires.com now.

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