Southern Berkshire Weekly Covid Dashboard

Click for Dashboard 1/14/2022

Attached please find the most recent 7-day data dashboard, using official data reported for Berkshire County and South County towns Jan 2-8.

 

The good news is that the rapid growth in new cases seems to be slowing down in our area. Hopefully that will continue as we approach the Omicron peak. While newly reported cases still were higher than the previous week, they increased at a slower rate in both the county overall and in our Southern Berkshire towns.

 

For Berkshire County, last week’s increase in new cases was just 38%, compared to the previous week’s increase of 144%. In South County, the increase was 54% this time, versus the previous week’s increase of 120%. Looking at the test positivity rate (remember all these numbers refer to confirmed cases from PCR tests only, as taken directly from the weekly state report), we see almost no change in either the county or Southern Berkshire towns as a group – while they’re still much higher than desired, the lack of growth in these numbers is excellent news, given that PCR testing increased by 25% in the county and 50% in Southern Berkshire towns (thank you to all involved with that effort!) over the previous week. So, significantly more PCR tests, with no change in the percent of those that had positive results when compared with the previous week. This is a second good indicator of the slow-down in new case growth.

 

Fingers crossed that the trend will continue in this direction. For now, keep wearing the best mask you’ve got, book that vaccine (esp. children!) or booster appointment (esp. 12-15 year olds!) you’ve been putting off, keep suspecting COVID with any new symptoms, and take advantage of free rapid drive-thru testing in Lee and Sheffield while it’s being offered for a couple more weeks. Use www.tinyurl.com/berkshirerapidtest to schedule an appointment or just drop by. Tuesdays 2-4pm in Lee at the Tri-Town Health Dept and Thursday 8-10am at the Sheffield Library. While the false negative rate may be higher than we’d like in the rapid tests for a variety of factors, we do still have an extremely very low false positive rate with those. So, if you’re past the 5 day isolation period the CDC now recommends and want to return to work but don’t necessarily have to, the rapid test can be a good way to see if your viral load is still high enough to make you a bit infectious – and if so, you could decide to stay home a bit longer that’s doable. If you’re still positive and do need to leave isolation after 5 days at home, it’s definitely time to wear an N95 or KN95 mask, following CDC and MA Dept. of Public Health guidance.

 

We also launched a new FB page. Please follow us! https://www.facebook.com/Southern-Berkshire-Public-Health-Collaborative-102895775457684