This is a collection of information that I share each day on my Berkshire News Network Coronavirus Information Update reports, which are heard on all of our Townsquare Media Berkshire stations. If you hear it there... you'll find it here:

Friday May 15, 2020

Berkshire County Numbers:

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Berkshire County: 488

The number of COVID-19 Deaths in Berkshire County: 37

Statewide Numbers:

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts: 82,182

The number of COVID-19 Deaths in Massachusetts: 5,482

Today’s News Items:

The death toll for Berkshire County held at 37 for the ninth day but the county added two cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the county total to 488. There were 167 new COVID-19 deaths in the state according to the Department of Public Health, for a new total of 5,482. The statewide case count rose by 1,685 to a total of 82,182.

The Board of Directors of the Berkshire International Film Festival in Great Barrington has decided to cancel its 15th annual festival in 2020.

The Annual Town Meeting in Alford has been postponed until June 23rd. Residents check townofalford.org the week of June 9th for updated information. The Annual Town Election will be on June 30th.

There will be no events on Memorial Day in the Village of Housatonic and the Town of Great Barrington on Monday May 25th due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Recent Information:

House leaders have outlined a nearly $3 trillion package of legislation they say is needed to help Americans weather the pandemic’s commercial downturn.

The Lee Chamber of Commerce is holding a breakfast meeting via the zoom platform on May 26th.

Gordmans department store in North Adams has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy partly because of the financial impact of the coronavirus.

Gov. Charlie Baker during his daily briefing Thursday said the CVS will be opening up 10 drive through testing centers... there were no Berkshire locations announced. The closest will be in West Springfield.

The Lenox economy will open with the guidance of a nine-member task force. The group includes business owners, physicians, an attorney, two real estate agents and a pair of former selectmen.

North Adams businesses are being encouraged to fill out an online survey designed to guide the use of state grant funds. The survey can be found at: explorenorthadams.com/wayfinding/

The Williamstown Affordable Housing Trust and Berkshire Housing Development Corp. Have started accepting applications for the trust's Emergency Rental Assistance Program for those impacted by COVID-19.

The Select Board in Williamstown is urging residents to wear facemasks when outside of their homes. The board and town manager reminded town residents Monday why that mandate is essential in accordance with Gov. Bakers recent order.

The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority is receiving a $5.7 million grant award from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration.

Trails at Mass Audubon's wildlife sanctuaries at Pleasant Valley in Lenox and Canoe Meadows in Pittsfield have been reopened to users.

Gov. Charlie Baker has outlined a four-phase plan to reopen businesses that have been closed since late March as part of the state's effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The four phases are Start, Cautious, Vigilant, and the New Normal.

Statewide mandatory face covering when in public places when not able to physical distance is now in effect. Masks are not required for those under the age of 2 or for those who have a medical condition preventing them from wearing a mask.

Gov. Baker has announced that he is ordering that Massachusetts schools remain closed though the end of the school year.

COVID-19 Resources:

The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office has created a resource guide to educate community members about the availability of health and safety resources during social distancing. The full resource guide is available here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/berkshire-district-attorneys-offices-covid-19-community-resource-guide/download

Though the MassHire Berkshire Career Center is closed to in-person contact, their seminars and workshops are available on a webinar platform. You can find the schedule at https://masshireberkshirecc.com/events-calendar/

The Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program (or WIC) is committed to providing families with continued support now and in the days ahead. They are able to provide all services by phone. Call 447-3495.

Unemployment benefit application for self-employed, gig economy, and other workers are now available. Learn more and apply at mass.gov/pua

Remember to wear a mask or face covering to prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially when social distancing is difficult. More info at: mass.gov/coveryourface

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has launched a new website to provide resources for health care workers and first responders in the state, and information to the public. The website is FrontlineMA.org.

You can see the latest breakdown of Massachusetts COVID-19 cases by Location, Age, Gender, and Ethnicity at the following link: DPH COVID-19 Cases Breakdown It’s updated by 4:00 PM Daily.

For the latest information on COVID-19 visit the BHS Coronavirus Information Kiosk at http://www.berkshirehealthsystems.org/coronavirus

State residents can get COVID-19 text updates by texting COVIDMA to 888-777

The symptoms of Coronavirus are coughing, fever and shortness of breath. They may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure. Residents can also check their symptoms and get other COVID-19 health related information by using a new FREE tool at buoy.com/mass

For the latest information on the Coronavirus including how to protect yourself and what to do if you become sick, visit the Federal Center for Disease Control website at cdc.gov/coronavirus

Check out the link to the Lenox Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Lenox: #LenoxLove COVID-19 Resources webpage: https://lenox.org/lenox-chamber-covid-19/

Downtown Pittsfield Inc. Has a link to COVID-19 resources on its website. Click this link: https://downtownpittsfield.com/2020/04/covid-19-resources/

Berkshire South Regional Community Center has announced Nourishing Neighbors, a new supplemental community meal program running for eight weeks and beginning today. Details are available at http://berkshiresouth.org/nourishing-neighbors/

The Town of Great Barrington has released a Mental Health and Wellness Kit, which is available at this link: https://www.townofgb.org/home/news/great-barrington-releases-mental-health-and-wellness-kit

The National Alliance on Mental Illness Berkshire County has announced its Warm Line. The Warm Line is a phone number that people can call to talk to either staff or a community trained volunteer. The number is 413-445-1136.

Community Access to the Arts has launched a series of online arts programs in order to combat the isolation that people with disabilities are experiencing during the COVID-19 crisis. Go to cataarts.org.

Looking for work? Nursing homes & Assisted Living Residences are in need of help. Find out more about the jobs available: mass.gov/covid-otnw

If you have a question about Coronavirus, you can call the BHS hotline which is available daily between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM. The number is 1-855-BMC-LINK or 1-855-262-5465.