CommonWealth Journal

Amid rising coronavirus cases, Governor Charlie Baker has pointed out that community spread and informal gatherings at home are the main culprits. Now lawmakers and health officials are following suit to explain the virus outbreak and death toll in Hillcrest Commons, Pittsfield.

The number of COVID-19 deaths in the care and rehabilitation center climbed through 32 on Wednesday, with three-quarters of residents infected with the virus in the past month.

The facility had a track record of zero confirmed COVID-19 cases a little over a month ago, but a few weeks after Halloween, staff began testing positive.

In early November, Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer began to warn a big spike in COVID-19 cases related to house parties and restaurants. It wasn't until that number increased that the presence of the virus took over at Hillcrest.

The number rose from two residents infected to 93 in a week, and now at least 166 out of 224 residents have the virus. Over 75 employees also have checked positive.

On FacebookPittsfield Rep. Patricia Farley-Bouvier said there was a "direct link" between the Pittsfield Halloween parties and a group of indoor diners in late October until the outbreak in Hillcrest Commons.

Berkshire Healthcare Systems, which Hillcrest operates, has a similar theory but doesn't know exactly what brought the virus in. “But I think we know that when we see the fellowship expand in every community, and there are nursing homes in those communities. The workers live in these communities. We then see that this is reflected in the community our residents live in, ”said Vice President and Spokeswoman Lisa Gaudet.

Gaudet related it similarly Berkshire Eagle that the source could have been a visitor before the visit was suspended on November 18, or an associate or a new admission in early November. Hillcrest frozen the approval on November 24th. The State Department of Public Health sent a rapid response team to Hillcrest the day before.

Four residents of Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center in Lenox, also owned by Berkshire Healthcare Systems, have died.

As of Friday morning, there are 769 active cases in Pittsfield, with cases increasing exponentially in the week after Halloween in a surge that has not stopped since.

Jim Wilusz, Executive Director of the Tri-Town Health Department he said Berkshire Eagle The cases were imminent. "We knew this was coming, it was just a matter of time after Halloween," he said.

Dr. Alan Kulberg, chairman of the Western Massachusetts City Health Department, had a similar attitude.

"We know there were some employees who had the virus," he said. he said WBUR, "and the prevailing belief is that many of these workers outside the facility got sick from their own social connections and then brought the illness into the facility."

Actual negligence doesn't seem to be part of the problem. Julia Durchanek, a Holyoke attorney who serves as A guardian for a number of nursing home residents in Massachusetts, including a COVID-positive resident of Hillcrest, said she had always found the staff there to be "very attentive" and "doing their best," unlike in Holyoke Soldiers Home where there is one of their clients died earlier this year.



Governor Charlie Baker changes Police Reform Act to enable the use of facial recognition technology and provide law enforcement officers with police training. Then he sends it back to the legislature and states that he is willing to compromise, but will only go so far.

Not good news on the COVID front as Massachusetts is a state is moving into the COVID-19 high risk category. There are now 151 parishes marked in red, cases and deaths are increasing, and the Lawrence case levels are rising to their highest level ever.

The SJC holds up Baker's extensive emergency powers under the Civil Defense Act of 1950 set a standard for when they can be reinstated in the future.

Eleven MBTA workers were suspended for up to five days without payment if you are not wearing masks. Another 52 received written warnings.

Pointing the finger abound at school reopening debate, with Baker in for a lot of criticism.

State Housing Fund run outThis raises concerns among tenant proponents that slow bureaucracy could worsen the eviction situation.

New leaders to be appointed in the soldiers' homes in Chelsea and Holyoke, but still no superintendent in Holyoke.

Opinion: The Solar Revolution in Massachusetts has stalled and needs to be restarted, say Ben Downing and Ben Underwood.



Boston city councils are debating under police union agreements a constant effort Curb overtime costs and bring greater transparency and accountability to the police. (Bay State Banner)

A shithole in Ronan Park in Boston is most likely a remnant of an old well. (Dorchester reporter)


An advisory group recommends The FDA approval of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine almost ensures that the agency will issue emergency clearance for its use in days – or even hours. (Washington Post)

New research says up to 300,000 COVID-19 cases Possibly this was due to the Biogen conference in Boston in February. (Boston Globe)

The Herald News investigates why COVID-19 cases might arise so tall in the Fall River. See SouthCoast Health Hospitals a wave of COVID and non-COVID patients. (Standard times)


Disorder and dispute in Congress jeopardize prospects for a new economic program. (Washington Post)

Decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and imposing A national excise tax backed by the Massachusetts congressional delegation could cut the federal deficit by $ 7 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. (MassLive)

Over half of the Republican caucus house character An amicus letter asking the Supreme Court to overturn election results in several swing states. (ProPublica)


Andrew Yang, the former tech entrepreneur who gained a wide following as a lateral thinker in the president's democratic primary race, has signaled He will run for Mayor of New York City next year. (New York Times)

Though Joe Biden hasn't even taken office yet, Politico Already states that Kamala Harris has a presidential prospect in 2024 to look at because no other image rival from the 2020 primaries landed cabinet picks that would improve their profile.


sales is booming for Christmas trees in Central Massachusetts. (Telegram & Gazette)

Gillette from Boston keeps fighting to keep his dominance of the razor market in the face of online upstarts rushing to its sales. (Boston Globe)


Massachusetts schools are increasingly separated – and it is not clear that there is a strong will to counter it. (Boston Globe)

students are uncomfortable with a thin blue line near a police memorial in Peabody High while the school committee is considering moving the memorial in response to a request. (The Salem News)

503 students and 420 school staff members in Massachusetts schools last week tested positive for COVID-19, with most cases reported in New Bedford. (MassLive)


The demolition of Harriet Tubman House in the South End of Boston shakes the community. (WBUR)


Keolis, the state's local transit operator, says it will cut Train operation on Monday for at least two weeks due to staff shortages due to COVID-19 diseases. (State House News Service)

The National Transportation Safety Board publishes a report about the crash of a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress at Bradley International Airport and finds numerous problems with the aircraft and the oversight of the Collings Foundation who owned it. (MassLive)


ONE Boston Herald editorial says The fact that inmates from Massachusetts are among the high-priority group receiving the first COVID-19 vaccines means we should stop thinking about the idea of ​​getting prisoners released early because of virus fears behind the wall.

Meet the author


Republican MP Dick Hinch, who was sworn in as the new Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives just last week, died on Wednesday of COVID-19. (Boston Herald)


FAQ not present/live