PITTSFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) — Officials from Pittsfield, including the Mayor’s Office, Health Department, and Public School system, are announcing a coordinated effort to flatten the curve in the city.
Since October 22, 169 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Pittsfield. Officials point to community spread as the culprit, rather than interactions between students and staff on school grounds. Their data indicates that upticking cases are owed to large get-togethers in restaurants and large private gatherings held in private homes.
“We have reached a point of crisis in our city that impacts our entire community. The number of
COVID-19 cases have grown exponentially over a very short period of time,” said Mayor Linda
Tyer. “Based on our current case rates and using the state’s new calculations to determine risk,
Pittsfield has moved into the red category, making us a high-risk community. We need to take
aggressive action now to get us back on the right course and reverse this alarming trend.”
With cases ballooning in and around the Berkshire County seat, the Pittsfield Public Schools District will suspend its in-person learning programs effective immediately. All students in all public schools will transition to remote. Even so, officials say they do not believe the virus was transmitted within any school buildings.
Not only does remote learning start on Friday, but table service at restaurants will be suspended until further notice. The Board of Health is also issuing an emergency order to step the city back to step 1 of phase 3. That means 50% capacity for:
- Performance venues (250 people max)
- Recreational businesses
- Obstacle courses
- Roller rinks
- Laser tag
- Driving schools
- Flight schools
Step 1 of phase 3 also means:
- Private, indoor gatherings limited to 10
- Private, outdoor gatherings limited to 25
- Indoor gatherings at event venues and public space limited to 25
- Outdoor gatherings reduced to 50
Municipal buildings are also closed to the public.
At restaurants, delivery and take-out will still available.
Remote learning starts on Friday, November 13. Pittsfield officials say they’ve scheduled hybrid learning to start again on Monday, December 7. Schools will continue offering meals to children under 18 during the remote-only timeframe. A full list of locations and times of meal pick-ups can be found here.