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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Mass General Nurse: 'We Are Still in the Tunnel'
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:52PM / Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Learn when you can expect to get the COVID-19 vaccine and more at https://t.co/YmWVsdnuW6. pic.twitter.com/BVmMGA4nyY

— Mass. Public Health (@MassDPH) December 15, 2020 BOSTON — The nursing director at Mass General Hospital on Tuesday expressed a holiday wish on behalf of her colleagues across the commonwealth.   "I do want to join with the governor in asking — even begging — each of you to follow the state guidelines, to refrain from gathering for the Christmas holidays," Melissa Jocelyn said during a midday appearance with Gov. Charlie Baker at the State House.   "We know this is a lot to ask, but this is a price to pay so you can

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Wednesday's Snowstorm Could Drop Up to a Foot
Staff Reports,
08:58AM / Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Sure, we've said it before, but the Berkshires may really get some snow this week.    The National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y., issued a storm watch beginning Wednesday afternoon and is forecasting accumulations in excess of 7 inches over the region.    Accuweather is describing it as "the most significant winter storm in several years" that could cause "near blizzard conditions" in parts of New York State and southern New England.    The storm will begin in the Ohio Valley and the southern Appalachians during Tuesday night and east through Wednesday.    Snow is expected to begin falling through Southern New England and the

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Ultra-Cold Freezer at BMC Ready for COVID-19 Vaccine
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
02:37PM / Monday, December 14, 2020

Ninety-six year old World War II Veteran Margaret Klessens is the first VA patient nationwide to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, at VA Bedford Healthcare System today at 12:07PM.

🙏

— Only In Boston (@OnlyInBOS) December 14, 2020 PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center was prepared Monday for the first delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19.   The vaccine, given emergency authorization for use last week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, must be kept at super cold temperatures of at least minus-70 degree Celsius. It's being distributed in a packaging — the so-called "pizza box" — that will allow doses to be kept

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Veteran Spotlight: Staff Sgt. Andrea Esposito
By Wayne Soares, Special to iBerkshires
04:33PM / Sunday, December 13, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It was an absolute pleasure to recently interview Andrea Esposito, who served 15 years in the Army and retired with the rank of staff sergeant. She was welcoming, outgoing and provided an excellent overview on her extraordinary military service as we met at Soldier On.   Her career is impressive as she had to overcome a great many obstacles in her life and used those experiences to excel as a leader in the Army.    Esposito grew up in North Haven, Conn., and enlisted in May 1985. Her basic training was at the famed Fort Dix in New Jersey, where she was in one of the first female companies at Fort Dix.   "I used humor and laughter to get

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@theMarket: Same Old Stimulus Song
By Bill Schmick,
01:00PM / Saturday, December 12, 2020
Investors should know better by now. Stimulus talks have been going on since July 2020, but politicians in the capital appear to be stuck on the same old issues. Unfortunately, the deadline for a 2020 compromise bill is less than three weeks away.   It is anyone's guess whether the nation's economic and pandemic plight will win over partisan politics. It hasn't so far. The financial markets are not taking kindly to failure at this point. The all-time highs we have been enjoying for the last two weeks have been built on investors' near certainty that at least $900 billion in new Federal stimulus money would be forthcoming shortly.   Those funds were supposed to help

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BHS Updates Visitation Guidelines
08:36AM / Saturday, December 12, 2020

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — As the Berkshire region continues to see an increasing number of positive cases of COVID-19, Berkshire Health Systems has updated its visitation guidelines for all of its facilities, effective Tuesday, Dec. 15.

This change is for Berkshire Medical Center and its Hillcrest and North Adams Campuses, Fairview Hospital and BMC and Fairview Physician Practices. Community spread of COVID-19 has risen dramatically since the end of October, which has resulted in a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 hospital admissions and positive cases.

BHS continues to provide safe comprehensive patient care services, both inpatient and outpatient, and these new visitation

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The Retired Investor: Markets Ignore China Sanctions
By Bill Schmick,
01:08PM / Friday, December 11, 2020
During the past few weeks of this presidency, both the Trump administration and Congress have levied additional sanctions against the People's Republic of China. Financial markets and U.S. corporations have largely ignored those efforts; here's why.   Investors have learned over the past four years that tough talk on trade tariffs, blacklisting and other threats were largely ineffectual in curtailing the world's second largest economy. The facts are that U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods have been a failure. Our trade deficit with China is higher now than it was before the trade wars.   China's trade gap with the U.S. was 43 percent bigger in September, for example,

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BHS COVID-19 Test Centers Added to Stop the Spread Program
03:44PM / Thursday, December 10, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Health Systems' three COVID-19 testing centers are now open as part of the state's Stop the Spread Program for free community testing.    Access to COVID-19 testing, either through the Stop the Spread program or for symptomatic testing, is by appointment only. Individuals MUST call the BHS COVID-19 Hotline, 855-BMC-LINK, or 855-262-5465, which is available daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.   Gov. Charlie Baker announced on Monday the addition of three Berkshire County sites to the program.  The commonwealth will be supporting free COVID-19 testing in 25 communities — up from eight when the state announced its Stop the Spread

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Spectrum Opens Store in Pittsfield
02:10PM / Thursday, December 10, 2020
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Charter Communications has opened a Spectrum Store on Hubbard Avenue.    The store gives consumers in the Pittsfield area an option for adding or managing their internet, television, mobile or voice services.   "Our Spectrum stores team is here to help our local customers who need support in getting and staying connected during these uncertain times," said Pattie Eliason, senior vice president of Spectrum stores and retail. "They are working to make our new store in Pittsfield a safe, convenient environment to add or manage services, shop for devices and accessories or make payments, while ensuring we adhere to current local and state

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BMC Prepares for COVID-19 Vaccine Arrival
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:54PM / Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Workers move the ultra-low temperature freezer at the Berkshire Innovation Center for deliver to BMC on Wednesday. The freezer is need for storing the vaccine. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Medical Center is one of 21 hospitals selected to begin receiving the novel coronavirus vaccine this month.    Director of Media Relations Michael Leary on Wednesday said the hospital is scheduling potential vaccine distribution for frontline workers, which will be dependent on the number of doses that arrive. BMC is expecting to get at least one of the batches, which yields 975 doses.   With Berkshire Health Systems having about 4,000 employees, those who have the most contact

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Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution to Prioritize High-Risk Individuals
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
12:25PM / Wednesday, December 09, 2020
BOSTON — The state expects to have 300,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of December with the first order of 60,000 arriving on Dec. 15.    Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday said the vaccine will be provided to all individuals without charge through a three-phase process that prioritizes high-risk individuals in health care and congregate care settings.    "The timeline and the estimated quantities of vaccine available to Massachusetts will depend on several variables, this age when the vaccine becomes available to the public under the age of 65 is still months away," he said.   Distribution will also depend on approval through the U.S. Food

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Support The Berkshires: Bart Raser with Carr Hardware
04:18PM / Tuesday, December 08, 2020

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