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Three Breakthrough COVID Cases Confirmed At North Adams Nursing Home

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Berkshire Healthcare

Three breakthrough COVID-19 cases have been confirmed at a North Adams, Massachusetts nursing home.

Friday morning, Berkshire media outlets were tipped off to the situation at the North Adams Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

As WAMC was working to confirm the story, Berkshire Healthcare spokesperson Lisa Gaudet provided the following statement to The Berkshire Eagle:

"They are residents not staff. All three were vaccinated," she said. "We are currently doing our tracing to understand where exposure may have come from."

According to the paper, Gaudet says the center hasn’t had a positive case since April 2020, and is working with the state Department of Public Health to find out which COVID variant is behind the outbreak. All staffers and residents of the North Adams Commons are being tested as a result of the positive cases. Gaudet says no other Berkshire Healthcare facilities have cases at this time.

In 2020, the company’s nursing homes around the county were hit hard by COVID-19. Around 30 residents at the Williamstown Commons died from the disease in the spring, and Hillcrest Commons in Pittsfield experienced hundreds of cases among staff and residents by the end of the year. At one point, Berkshire Healthcare reported that all of its Berkshire County facilities had at least one staffer with COVID-19.

Gaudet told The Eagle that 89 percent of residents and 67 percent of staff at North Adams Commons had received COVID-19 vaccines as of early July.

Countywide, she said Berkshire Healthcare has vaccinated 94 percent of residents and 76 percent of staff at its facilities.

Gaudet has not responded to multiple requests for comment from WAMC, but spoke with WAMC in April 2020 during the early days of the pandemic emergency:

“We will need to continue to do our diligence around how we assess patients, how we assess staff, and how we continue to work in collaboration with the Mass Department of Public Health to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect the safety of our residents, and as well as our staff.”

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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