Vol. II No. 02 1/15/2021
COVID Update from the Stockbridge Board of Health
by Charles Kenny MD, Chair
Since the beginning of the New Year, 20 new cases of Covid-19 have been identified in Stockbridge, most of which were in two locations. Yes, 2020 was a tough year, but there is light at the end of the tunnel! Vaccinations have begun in Berkshire County.
Healthcare workers dealing with Covid-19 patients and nursing home residents have already been vaccinated as part of the first-tier group. First-responders are scheduled to get theirs beginning the week of January 11. The logic underlying this prioritization scheme is the following: Healthcare workers and first responders are at high risk for getting the disease because they are routinely in close contact for extended periods with people ill with the virus, often in circumstances where the Covid-19 victims cannot where a mask. Furthermore, healthcare workers and first responders who get Covid, by virtue of their work, can spread the disease to non-Covid patients with serious illnesses, such as heart attacks, who have special vulnerabilities to the virus. Finally, if such workers cannot work because they are ill, who will take care of the rest of us? Nursing home residents are the infirm elderly who are especially vulnerable.
The next tier will be older people who are known to be more likely than younger people to become seriously ill and die from Covid.
These vaccination clinics will be posted publicly when the dates and locations become known. PLEASE, respect the logic of the system and do not try to sign up for a vaccination clinic for which you are not scheduled.
COVID Update from Tri-Town Health
James J. Wilusz, RS, Executive Director, Tri-Town Health District, Lee, Lenox, and Stockbridge
Tri-Town Health District, its staff and employees are working alongside board of health members and community stakeholders across the entire county to continue to combat COVID-19.
As the holiday season is now in the rearview mirror, we wanted to provide the community at large updates on vaccine distribution. There are many questions surrounding the status and the goings on with vaccines, clinics, and where and when this will all happen.
While we do not have all the answers today, we can assure you that as vaccines become available, we WILL get these vaccines out to the community. There are several agencies in the county, from regional boards of health, BHS leadership, County Ambulance, fire and police chiefs, emergency management directors, and many others meeting multiple times a week to prepare and deliver as fast as we can. As of this update we are mostly through the first round of First Responder clinics.
We ask that as we work through each priority group, there are requirements that are set by the DPH and must be met prior to receiving your vaccination. To avoid confusion, we ask that you not register until you qualify within the current priority group. Please refer to the Priority group chart and check your local and state websites if you have questions. Congregate care facilities and home health care agencies are forthcoming and we anticipate that as vaccines come, we should transition into next priority level very soon thereafter as fast as we can.
Leadership around the county is advocating hard and in direct contact with the Berkshire Delegation and others to ensure the voices of the Berkshires are heard. We want to assure you that the Berkshires is very prepared to take this large effort on. We still must rely on state and federal supplies as they come in.
In the meantime, we ask that you continue to practice universal precautions including social distancing, masking, washing hands and limiting exposure/travel to large gatherings outside of your family bubble and check local and state websites. We promise you will be notified with instructions, dates, and times from a wide array of media outlets and communication which groups are next by priority level set by the Commonwealth. We hear your voices, and you are not forgotten! Public Health officials and others are tirelessly advocating for you every day and we are laser focused to end this pandemic and get you access to the vaccine. We know it's a hard ask but we ask you to bear with us a bit longer as we move through this unprecedented situation. Here is some links you can access for more information on the vaccine.
We also provide several links on the Tri-Town site: https://www.tritownhealth.org.
On behalf of the Tri-Town Health District, we thank you for your continued fight and your patience as well continue to move forward to ending this pandemic.
Photo: Kate Fletcher.