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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

State Staying with County Numbers for COVID-19 Reports
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:28PM / Monday, March 30, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — At last report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, there are 5,752 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the commonwealth and 162 cases — including five fatalities — in Berkshire County.   Of course, those numbers are always changing and likely will look different when the DPH updates its numbers again, which it does daily.   State officials are doing their best to report the impact of the pandemic, but they will not any time soon change the practice of reporting statistics on a county-by-county basis.   On Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders fielded a question from a reporter asking why Massachusetts

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State Officials Bracing for COVID-19 Surge Next Week
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
02:41PM / Monday, March 30, 2020
BOSTON — State officials are ramping up for an expected surge in COVID-19 cases between April 7 and 17.    Gov. Charlie Baker at Monday's briefing said reviewed plans being implemented to reduce pressure on the health system including increasing bed capacity, equipment and staffing.    "This isn't an exact science, but generally speaking, most of the calculations that are out there with respect to Massachusetts both, some of the ones we've done and some of the others, suggests that the surge here is probably going to start somewhere between the 7th and the 17th," he said.   Massachusetts has seen the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases

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Mental Health Providers Adjust to Provide Services During Pandemic
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
07:07AM / Sunday, March 29, 2020
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Throughout the country, people are trading in their therapist's couch for their living room couch.   But it is not by choice.   Social distancing required by the fight against COVID-19 means the end of in-person counselling for many people.   Berkshire County's Brien Center moved all of its psychotherapists to a telehealth model last week, according to the agency's vice president of service operations.   It's not ideal, but it is better than the alternative, Paul Hickling said.   "I've been a psychotherapist since 1992, and there is no substitute for a face-to-face session, whether it's the initial session or

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March 28 COVID-19 Briefs: Public Parks Push Passive Use
10:24AM / Saturday, March 28, 2020
Group Games Banned in Public Parks
Communities including North Adams have been removing hoop rims to discourage youth congregating at public parks. Reminder that playgrounds and sports facilities are closed during the state of emergency. Walking paths, fields and benches are still open but group activities and sports such as basketball are prohibited. Playground equipment is not being sanitized and should not be used. Remember to maintain social distancing of 6 feet or more.   North Adams Administrative Officer Michael Canales said the hoop rims were removed from parks including Noel Field and UNO because young people were gathering there.   "Right now parks only for

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Governor: Mass. Residents Can Check for Risk Factors on Web Site
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
09:46PM / Friday, March 27, 2020
BOSTON — Continuing and expanding on a campaign to promote telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday announced a new partnership between the commonwealth and Massachusetts-based web service Buoyhealth.com to help residents determine the kind of medical attention they may need.   The online tool developed by Buoy Health allows users to enter information about symptoms they may be feeling and directs them to resources that are available to them, like testing for the novel coronavirus, if it is recommended.   The service, which is free to Massachusetts residents, starts by asking a series of questions for a risk assessment.   "When

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The Independent Investor: An Economic Game Plan
By Bill Schmick,
10:34AM / Friday, March 27, 2020
Now that Congress and the Federal Reserve Bank have fired the first salvo of relief spending, investors are wondering how long the trillions of dollars in aid will take to actually do something to alleviate some of the losses to the economy.   Administration officials believe that the cash payments to Americans should start arriving within the next three weeks. That said, most economists expect the country will fall into recession in the second quarter. That begins next week. No one knows how deep of a decline we will ultimately suffer, but suffice it to say, it will be a shock to most of us.   We can also expect a large, possibly a historical, jump in the unemployment rate; some

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Real Eyes Gallery to Sell Elements of 'TP' Art for Food Project
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:01AM / Friday, March 27, 2020

Klein's 'Uber Waves' exhibit opened at Real Eyes Gallery March 7. ADAMS, Mass. — Artist Henry Klein never considered the everyday material he used in one of his art pieces would be in such high demand almost immediately.    Or that the wall of swooping rolls of tissue in the front window of Real Eyes Gallery would make passers-by stop in their tracks.   "I had no idea," Klein said in an exhibition talk the gallery live-streamed earlier this month. "I thought I was just being cute putting toilet paper on the wall."   The piece in the Park Street gallery comprises an entire 24-roll pack of toilet paper strung out to create waves.

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Governor Frustrated by PPE Shortage: 'Let Us Land the Order'
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:34PM / Thursday, March 26, 2020
BOSTON — The governor's frustration on the state's inability to get medical equipment in the middle of the novel coronavirus pandemic spilled over at the end of a 40-minute long news conference on Thursday.   The state has found itself bidding against other states as well as the federal government in trying to find materials, particularly personal protective equipment desperately needed by medical facilities and first-responders.   "The biggest thing I would say is that we are doing everything we can, through an incredibly messy thicket that is enormously frustrating for all of us to try to get them the gear that they deserve and they need," Gov. Charlie

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'One Touch of Venus': Love at First Sight
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
04:14PM / Thursday, March 26, 2020
……………………………………………………………………………………………………..   When asked to speak somewhere about what I think I know concerning this business of criticizing movies, the first inquiry of the Q&A period is inevitably, "What is your favorite movie?" Of course, I could play it safe by answering, "Citizen Kane" (1941) or "Casablanca" (1942) and head straight for the doughnuts. But it just wouldn't be true. So,

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MCLA Offers Health Sciences Degree With Concentration in Radiologic Tech
11:30AM / Thursday, March 26, 2020

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' is now accepting students for its new health sciences bachelor’s degree with a concentration in radiologic technology for the fall 2020 semester. 

The program has been approved through the MCLA governance process and the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology, and students completing the degree are eligible to sit for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists Radiography examination. 

MCLA now offers one of only five accredited programs in the Northeast in a field that demonstrates 100 percent job placement. MCLA will also be able to provide students in health

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Geriatrics Physician Joins SVMC Internal Medicine
10:55AM / Thursday, March 26, 2020

BENNINGTON, Vt. — The Internal Medicine practice at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center has welcomed geriatrics physician Dr. Lisa J. Downing-Forget.

With this appointment, Dr. Downing-Forget also joins the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Medical Group. She will see patients who are 65 years old and older.

Downing-Forget completed a family medicine residency at the University of Rochester in New York and earned her medical degree from Charles Drew University of the University of California Los Angeles. She also holds a master's in public health from the University of California Los Angeles and a bachelor's in human development and family studies from Cornell University in New

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Reusable Bags Temporarily Banned; Aid Set for Low-Income Renters
07:20PM / Wednesday, March 25, 2020
BOSTON — The administration invoked a number of measures on Wednesday to continue efforts to contain the novel coronavirus that has killed nearly a thousand Americans.    Gov. Charlie Baker announced that schools and non-essential day cares would remain closed through at least May 4, with plans being made for remote learning supports.    Public Health Order for Retailers • Requires groceries and pharmacies to provide disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizers for shoppers' hands, carts and purchases.   • Prohibits reusable bags from groceries and lifting any local bans on plastic bags. Retailers cannot charge for

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