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Exposure update: Now 31 coronavirus-related deaths in the Berkshires

The number of deaths reported by the Massachusetts Department of Health that are attributed to a coronavirus disease-related illness has nearly doubled in a week’s time.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the state agency reported that 2,182 people in the commonwealth have died as a result of coronavirus disease. Of that total, 31 were residents of Berkshire County.
In its report, DPH stated that there is a “day-to-day variability in cases reported by testing laboratories and no single day change is indicative of overall cases trends.”
There are now 42,944 confirmed cases of those with coronavirus disease in the state, 404 of which are from Berkshire County. Middlesex County has the most confirmed cases of any other county in the commonwealth with 10,094.
The largest age group that have tested positive with the virus is those between the ages of 50 and 59 with 7,408 confirmed cases, followed by those 80 and older with 6,675 cases and those between the ages of 40 and 49 with 6,175 cases, DPH reported.
According to statistics from Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield and Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington, there were 3,007 total patients tested as of Wednesday, April 22. Of that total, 400 tested positive, 2,425 had tested negative and 182 were still pending. Of those that tested positive, 19 were inpatients, 44 were discharged and 14 have died from the virus.
In Massachusetts, DPH reports that 180,462 people have been tested.
This past week, DPH also issued the numbers of confirmed cases of coronavirus in each municipality in the commonwealth from Jan. 1 to April 14.
The state agency indicated that the list includes only reported cases and the absence of reported cases in a particular community does not indicate the absence of the virus that causes COVID-19. No community should decrease prevention and mitigation strategies based on these data. DPH noted that for populations that were less than 50,000, towns that have less than five are reported as such or suppressed for confidentiality purposes.
In Southern Berkshire County, Alford is listed as having 0 cases; Becket with 10 cases; Egremont with less than five cases; Great Barrington with 30 cases; Lee with 10 cases; Lenox with 10 cases; Monterey with 0 cases; Mount Washington 0 cases; New Marlborough with less than five cases; Otis with less than five cases; Richmond with less than five cases; Sandisfield with less than five cases; Sheffield with nine cases; Stockbridge six cases; Tyringham with less than five cases; and West Stockbridge with less than five cases.
In an April 21 letter posted at the 66-unit Beech Tree Apartments, management notified tenants that there was at least one confirmed case of coronavirus there. The letter indicated that the tenant(s) were in quarantine. The letter advocated for the use of wearing gloves and masks while in all common spaces.
The total cases in the U.S. are 802,583 with 44,575 deaths as of April 21, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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