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North Adams In-Person Dining To Continue Despite Ties To New COVID Cases

The seal of the the city of North Adams, Massachusetts
North Adams

Officials in North Adams, Massachusetts say a new wave of COVID-19 cases are connected to city restaurants.

Data revealed at Tuesday’s Board of Health meeting show almost half of the city’s 50 active cases emerged in the last week, a majority of them from restaurants. Six cases were contact traced back to a single unidentified eatery. Despite this, Mayor Tom Bernard tells WAMC he isn’t considering shutting down in-person dining.

“There’s the consideration of the economic impact for these restaurants and the business," said Bernard. "And again, as I’ve said, public health is the primary consideration, and if we reached a point where the determination was that will provide maximum protection for public health, we would move differently. But right now, we’re not there.”

In November 2020, City Council Vice President Jason LaForest – a frontline medical worker – told WAMC that he disagreed with Bernard and thought that in-person dining should be suspended.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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