Berkshire County braces for coronavirus cases to impact tourism


LEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Berkshire County towns are popular destinations for many people from in and out of Massachusetts. But as of the morning of March 11th, there were seven presumed cases of coronavirus throughout the county.

Some residents say they expected the virus to reach the area, as it has around the country, and they’ve started to see the impacts.

“Tourists come in usually in the summer and in the winter for skiing. In the summer for all the events. [I’ve seen] Less people. Not that I’m at the grocery store every day but when I do go some people may have protective masks or gloves on,” Lee resident, James Toomey told 22News.

“This one little quaint little town isn’t going to be affected more than the world will be. More or less everybody’s gotta protect themselves and make sure we make this thing go away,” Toomey continued.

In Otis, one resident tested positive for the virus. Another man in Clarksburg also tested positive. Also, in North Adams, the mayor and another resident are in quarantine. Some residents told us they hoped their rural isolation would help them avoid the virus.

“There are a lot of great attractions like the Norman Rockwell Museum and Mass MoCA up north and I think people are already thinking twice about do I really want to get out and mix in with others,” Lee resident, Garth Story told 22News.

There is still no word from officials on how anyone in Berkshire County came in contact with the virus. But Berkshire County residents said no matter what they make sure to take care of the elderly and sick in their towns.

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