COVID-19 Resources

 In COVID-19, Events

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources (Updated 4/7): All Massachusetts residents ages 16 or older will become eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine by April 19.

Currently eligible:
  • people age 65+
  • low income and affordable senior housing residents & staff
  • People who live or work in congregate care settings
  • people with two or more certain medical conditions (comorbidities)
  • Teachers and school staff
  • Residents 60 or older and certain workers
  • Residents 55 or older and those with one qualifying health condition
Next group:
  • The general public will become eligible April 19.
Please note: The addition of teachers and school staff brings the vaccine eligibility pool up to approximately a million people here in Massachusetts. The state currently receives about 150,000 first doses per week from the federal government. It may remain challenging to get a vaccine appointment. Visit the Mass.gov Vaccine website for up-to-date information. Berkshire County has also launched a website to help folks find appointments. You can also search for vaccination sites across the Commonwealth using this website. If you’re in North Berkshire and have questions about how to register, download this FAQ.
Local Councils on the Aging are assisting with registration. Please direct anyone who is having difficulty to their local COA for support:
ADAMS- (413) 743-8333
CHESHIRE- (413) 743-1172
CLARKSBURG- (413) 663-8353
FLORIDA- (413) 662-2811
NORTH ADAMS- (413) 662-3125
SAVOY- (413) 743-4290
WILLIAMSTOWN- (413) 458-8250
Vaccine Education and Outreach Materials are available for download here.

Please visit https://www.maimmunizations.org to find upcoming clinics for eligible groups to register. Please note that online registration is required. 

For general information and updates about the vaccine please contact your primary care provider or visit:

https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine-in-massachusetts

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccine-distribution-timeline-phase-overview

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccine-frequently-asked-questions

For information about COVID-19 Testing or to schedule an appointment please contact the BHS Helpline at (855)262-5464.

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Governor Baker announced that free COVID-19 testing has expanded to North Adams through the Stop the Spread Campaign, at 98 Church St. For information on how to get tested there, visit the BHS website. To find a testing site near you, visit MDPH’s interactive COVID-19 Test Site Locator map. To receive a test at Berkshire Health Systems sites around the county, call 855-262-5465. Many sites require pre-screening, a referral and/or an appointment; be sure to verify what you’ll need ahead of going to the testing site.

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Community Legal Aid is now assisting low-income families and students in Berkshire County with educational issues. Our education law attorney will provide advice and assistance with COVID-related and other education issues families face now and in the future as schools reopen, including accessing technological devices and internet connection for remote learning; accessing materials and information in the parent’s preferred language (information, notices, and academic materials); accessing special education instruction, accommodations, and services for students who are struggling, whether or not they have been diagnosed with a disability; disciplinary proceedings (such as suspensions and expulsions) or other removals from learning time; bullying; and barriers to school enrollment (such as lack of necessary documentation). Families can apply for services by calling 855-CLA-LEGAL (855-252-5342) or applying online at communitylegal.org/get-help.

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Community Legal Aid (CLA) is offering an Unemployment Project to help people apply for benefits, especially if they are encountering technology or language barriers, or if they are otherwise having trouble getting approved. Call 855-CLA-LEGAL or visit communitylegal.org/get-help for help. Also, please contact us if your landlord is not following the new eviction moratorium law that prevents evictions in most cases. Click here for more information about the new law. Although CLA is closed to the public at this time, we are still open and taking cases involving public benefits, elder, housing, family, and immigration (through our subsidiary, Central West Justice Center). Please refer to our website at communitylegal.org for a full list of what we do.

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COVID Eviction Help Project: Do you need help with an eviction in Massachusetts? The COVID Eviction Legal Help Project (CELHP) was formed to expand the capacity of legal aid organizations in Massachusetts, as well as the pro bono bar, to provide urgently needed legal assistance in COVID-related eviction cases. CELHP will provide referrals, legal information, assistance and legal representation in Housing Court, and where capacity allows in District Courts and for tenants at risk of losing their subsidized housing. The goal of representation is to achieve housing stability.

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COVID-19 EMERGENCY ORDERS AND UPDATES: On December 22, Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito announced further measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. These measures will go into effect on Saturday, December 26 and will remain in effect until noon on January 10, 2021. Read a summary here. For more information, visit Mass.gov. Also visit Mass.gov for a weekly COVID-19 public health report.
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The Ecu-Health Care office is currently closed to in-person appointments and drop-offs. We are ready to help support you during the 2021 Open Enrollment period, which is November 1, 2020 through January 23, 2021. Our staff is available to assist you over the phone during regular business hours of 8:30-5:00 Monday-Thursday and 8:30-4:00 on Friday. For assistance please give us a call and we will do our best to help you. Should you need to drop off verifications to be forwarded to MassHealth or the Health Connector, please use the envelopes provided outside our office door and leave them in our drop box. To contact MassHealth directly, call 1-800-841-2900. To contact the Health Connector directly, call 1-877-623-6765. Thank you for your patience and cooperation. The Ecu-Health Care staff wishes you and your families all the best during this difficult time.
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For information on COVID testing, visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website. To find a testing site near you, visit MDPH’s interactive COVID-19 Test Site Locator map. To receive a test at Berkshire Health Systems sites around the county, call 855-262-5465. Many sites require pre-screening, a referral and/or an appointment; be sure to verify what you’ll need ahead of going to the testing site.
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The Baker-Polito Administration announces comprehensive eviction diversion initiative to keep people safely housed during pandemic. Learn more.
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Berkshire Community Action Council currently has funding to help individuals who are just starting to fall behind or who are struggling to make their current month’s rent.  Their Fuel Assistance Program applications will be opening on November 1st to assist with winter heating bills. For more information about their programs please visit www.bcacinc.org; (413) 445-4503 Pittsfield/South Office, (413) 663-3014 (North County).
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COVID-19 Survey: Right now, even people who have not become sick with COVID-19 are managing stress, uncertainty, and isolation during this challenging time. People of color and other communities who have been historically underserved are being hurt the most. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is committed to better serving these communities by learning about their experiences directly through this COVID-19 Community Impact Survey, and using answers to create new solutions.
This survey is intended for anyone 14 and older who lives in Massachusetts. MA-DPH specifically seeks to hear from communities who have suffered the most through this public health emergency.
The survey is offered online at www.mass.gov/COVIDsurvey by computer, phone or tablet. It will take around 10 to 15 minutes to complete. You can choose to complete the survey in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Haitian Creole, and Vietnamese. All survey responses will be anonymous. For additional information please visit the Mass.gov COVID-19 website.
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For information on testing, visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website. To find a testing site near you, visit MDPH’s interactive COVID-19 Test Site Locator map. The closest sites to Northern Berkshire are in Pittsfield, but a North Adams site is scheduled to open this month. Many sites require pre-screening, a referral and/or an appointment; be sure to verify what you’ll need ahead of going to the testing site.
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The Baker-Polito administration has instituted a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all individuals entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, effective August 1. 
Certain exemptions apply, including travelers from lower-risk states or a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to arrival in Massachusetts. Failure to comply may result in a $500 fine per day. More details about this travel order are available on Mass.gov.

Federal Charitable Giving Incentive

The CARES Act contains a one-time, above-the-line deduction for cash contributions of up to $300 made to qualifying charities. All taxpayers would be eligible to take the deduction, even people who use the standard deduction. Donors who itemize their deductions can deduct up to 100% AGI for cash gifts in 2020. The incentive applies to contributions made in 2020 and would be claimed on tax forms next year.

Williamstown Community Chest cannot offer tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor as to the best way to make tax-advantaged charitable contributions.

Local resources

Government resources

  • CDC Recommended Use of Cloth Face Coverings: CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain ( e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies ), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

Food Resource Updates:

Food Pantries:
Al Nelson Friendship Center, 45 Eagle Street, North Adams, 413-664-0123
Wednesdays, 10:00am – 2:00pm. Friends physically unable to get to the food pantry, call on Wednesdays between 10am-4pm to set-up a delivery which will take place on Thursdays, 10:00am – noon. Assistance to residents of Clarksburg, Florida, and North Adams every other week.
Berkshire Dream Center Mobile Food Pantry, 413-522-3495
North Adams Locations: 1st Wednesday of the month, Mohawk Forest at 5:00pm, Brayton Hill at 5:45pm, Greylock at 6:45pm. No requirements.
Cheshire Food Pantry at the Cheshire Community Center, 119 School Street,
Cheshire 413-743-9719, 1st Saturday of each month 11:00am – noon
Available to all Cheshire residents with proof of residency. Emergency food is also available.
Community Bible Church,160 Bridges Road, Williamstown, 413-458-5556
3rd Wednesday of each month, noon – 2:00pm. Must be a Mass. resident.
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Mobile Food Bank, Adams: Held at the Adams Council on Aging/Adams Visitors’ Center, 3 Hoosac Street, Adams 413-247-9738, ext. 121; 2nd & 4th Tuesdays of each month; 10:00am – 11:00am. No proof of eligibility required. Must be Berkshire County resident. One distribution per household.
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Mobile Food Bank North Adams: American Legion 124 American Legion Drive, North Adams 413-247-9738, ext. 121; 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month; 10:00am – 11:00am; No proof of eligibility required. One distribution per household.
St. John Paul II Charity Center, Rte. 8 across from Walgreens, Adams, 413-743-0577. Wednesdays 11:00am – 1:00pm. Assistance to residents of Adams, Cheshire, and Savoy.
The Salvation Army Gateway New Life Center, 393 River Street, North Adams, 413-663-7987. Tuesdays 12Noon – 3:00pm. For Emergency Pantry please call 413-663-7987. For North County residents only.
Williamstown Food Pantry at St. Patrick & St. Raphael Parish, 53 Southworth Street, Williamstown, 413-458-4946, x11 or 413-458-3149. 1st and 3rd Wednesdays 9:00am – Noon. Drive or walk-thru. Assistance to residents of Hancock, New Ashford, Williamstown, and Pownal, VT.
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Meal Sites:
Adams COA: 3 Hoosac Street, Adams 413-743-8333. Mondays thru Fridays
Congregate meals available for grab & go. Must call Adams COA 24 hours prior.
Berkshire Food Project: First Congregational Church of N. Adams 134 Main Street, North Adams 413-664-7378. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 11:30am – 1:00pm
Cheshire COA Held at Cheshire Community Center, 119 School Street, Cheshire 413-743-9719. Mondays thru Fridays,10:15am – Noon. Congregate meals available for grab & go. Must call Cheshire COA.
First Baptist Church Community Soup Kitchen Eagle Street Entrance, 131 Main Street, North Adams, 413-652-7619. Saturdays 11:00am – 12:30pm.
North Adams COA, Mary Spitzer Center, 116 Ashland Street North Adams 413-662-3125, Mondays thru Fridays 11:30am – Noon, Congregate meals available for 60+ for pick-up only – Must call one day in advance to reserve meal. Please call 413-664-9826.
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Meal Site Distribution:

School Food Distribution Sites:
McCann Technical School, 70 Hodges Cross Road, North Adams, 413-663-5383.
Grab & Go meals at no cost for any student ages 18 and under from around the area. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 3:00pm – 3:45pm. On the pick-up days there will be one hot meal , one cold meal, and two breakfasts. Pick-ups every week unless there is a holiday.
Lunch, and breakfast for the next day, are distributed at these locations. On Fridays, lunch for the weekend is also distributed. Parents and guardians can pick-up meals on behalf of their children.
Mondays
Greylock Valley Apts. 11:45am – 12:15pm Mohawk Forest Apts. 11:00am – 11:30am Tuesdays
Brayton Elementary School 11:00am – 12NN Colegrove Park Elementary School 11:00am-12NN Greylock Valley Apts. 11:45am – 12:15pm Mohawk Forest Apts. 11:00am – 11:30am
Wednesdays
School Bus Stop Meal Delivery Program-see bus route schedule at www.napsk12.org for details
Thursdays
Greylock Valley Apts. 11:45am – 12:15pm Mohawk Forest Apts. 11:00am – 11:30am Fridays
Brayton Elementary School 11:00am – 12NN Colegrove Park Elementary School 11:00am-12NN Greylock Valley Apts. 11:45am -12:15pm
Mohawk Forest Apts. 11:00am – 11:30am
North Adams Public Schools Dinners
Free curbside grab & go dinners to all North Adams children under the age of 18
Brayton Elementary School
Mondays thru Fridays
4:30pm – 5:00pm
Visit the NAPS website for more information.
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Other Food Programs
Brown Bag Program: This program is a supplemental monthly food program offering 10-15 pounds of food to eligible individuals, 55 years or older, free or for a small donation. For income eligibility requirements and further information, call your Council on Aging.
Elder Services’ Elder Nutrition Program: Noontime meals are offered for those 60 years of age and older at several senior centers throughout the County. Some sites offer transportation through the Council on Aging. A suggested donation of $2.00 per meal is requested. Individuals under 60 years of age are welcome for a required fee of $7.00 per meal. Call Elder Services of Berkshire County for information and locations at 413-499-0524 or 1-800-981-5201.
Elder Services’ Meals on Wheels Program: Nutritious, hot noontime meals are offered Monday through Friday to homebound Berkshire seniors, who are 60 years of age or older. A suggested donation of $2.00 is requested to help cover the cost of food preparation and delivery. There are eligibility requirements. Please call Elder Services of Berkshire County at 413-499-0524 to make a referral for yourself, family member or friend.
Take and Eat Program: A program for individuals 60 years of age and older who are homebound, unable to prepare meals, shop, or get out. Meals are delivered on Sundays and are provided for weekends and three-day holiday weekends. Contact Kathleen Ryan at 413-672-1404 or 413-664-1041 for information.
Food Transportation:
Adams COA Van: Brown Bag Delivery, Grocery Shopping during senior-friendly hours if they choose. Call COA.
Williamstown COA Van: Brown Bag Delivery, Van Transportation. Call COA.

Community Notes:

Child Care of the Berkshires staff have returned to the office as of June 15th. Child care programs continue to work towards opening in the coming weeks. CCB’s building is closed to the public at this time. Follow CCB’s Facebook page for updates. The Family Center; a program of CCB, can provide children’s clothing sizes 0-10, diapers or formula through contactless pick up. Please contact the Family Center office by calling 413.664.4821 to arrange pick up.

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Diapers – call to coordinate appointment for pickup. North County: Berkshire Diaper Project 413.446.5038, New Direction Women Center, 98 Church Hill, North Adams 413.346.4291, Al Nelson Friendship Food Pantry, 70 Holden St., North Adams, 413.664.0123, Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, 61 Main St., North Adams 413.663.7588

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The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition is open by appointment only, Monday thru Friday from 9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. They can be reached at 413.663.7588. All nbCC events and group programs have been temporarily suspended. For a listing of services please visit www.nbccoaltion.org.

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Our 510 North Street & North Adams WIC sites are currently closed until further notice, but we are serving our Participants over the phone. If you already have an upcoming appointment, we will call you in the near future to help you and to load your benefits onto your WIC Card. If you do not have a scheduled appointment or if you have questions, please call our Pittsfield office at 413.447.3495 – if we are unable to answer, please leave a voicemail. We will call you back as soon as possible and apologize for the delay.

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MassHealth has expanded eligibility and coverage in response to COVID19. See https://www.mass.gov/topics/masshealth for more information.

Berkshire County Regional Housing: www.bcrha.com BCRHA’s contact number is 413.443.7138.  People can call the triage line at ext. 229 or use our names directory.

Financial Resources:

Neighbor to Neighbor Fund grant program. http://www.berkshiretaconic.org/bReceivebNonprofitsIndividuals/SearchApplyforGrants/NeighbortoNeighborN2N

DTA Assistance Line: 877.382.2363

Berkshire Community Action Council: 413.445.4503

Department of Unemployment Assistance: 877.626.6800, 617.626.6338

*Unemployment has waived the waiting period https://www.mass.gov/unemployment-insurance-ui-online

 

 

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