Berkshire County residents concerned about “community spread” of coronavirus

Berkshire County

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Six cases of the coronavirus in Massachusetts have been officially confirmed by the CDC, leaving the number of presumptive cases to 89 Wednesday night. 

In Berkshire County, there are still seven cases of the virus but Governor Charlie Baker is calling them the most concerning ones. All of those cases have no known origin and are being treated as the first evidence of “community spread.” 

22News spoke with residents as well as Berkshire Medical Center staff about the evolving situation in the Berkshires. Residents are starting to get really nervous about the virus being in their area and several employees of Berkshire Medical Center are on furlough as a precaution.    

“So many people are going to catch it so many people are going to catch it and then everybody is going to have it,” said one concerned resident. 

The number of cases of coronavirus in Massachusetts went from 92 to 95 overnight. Luckily the number in Berkshire County has stayed the same. However, state public health officials cannot link all of the cases of COVID -19 in Berkshire County to recent international travel or to isolated and known chains of transmission. Leaving officials worried and residents scared. 

Matthew Williamson of Pittsfield told 22News, “I just don’t want my kids to be sick. I’m not really worried for myself but if I got it my whole family would probably get it.” 

Michael Leary, director of Media Relations at Berkshire Medical Center told 22News that some employees are on furlough as a precaution. Each employee will be on paid leave for two weeks based on their possible last known contact with COVID-19.  

Leary would not specify how many patients are being treated at the hospital for the virus and would not specify how many employees are on leave. 

The state will be giving Berkshire County extra protective gear but it is unclear what kind of gear and how much of it will be released at this time. 

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