Omicron is milder than the Delta variant of COVID-19. How many times have we heard that? For most, it seems to be; however, "milder" just means less deadly, really. Some infections certainly don't feel mild.

All in all, this is a good thing, although experts are saying that the next variant might not necessarily be as mild as Omicron. The narrative that viruses "just get milder and milder" as they mutate is not always true.

ARE CASES SLOWING AT ALL IN THE BERKSHIRES?

After the holidays, cases of the highly contagious Omicron variant skyrocketed, to say the least, here in The Berkshires, but there is some evidence to show that cases may be finally trending downward.

BMC is reporting as of Friday that 21 patients are being cared for with COVID. That number was as high as 39 last week.

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As far as the vaccinated vs. unvaccinated ratio for patients in the hospital goes, the City of Pittsfield has that graph on their website. The percentage of Pittsfield residents in the hospital with COVID-19 who are unvaccinated is near 65% compared to the remaining 35% who are vaccinated.

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The city's dashboard is also showing that the number of actively contagious people with COVID is trending down. 445 people compared to near 800 just last week.

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According to Berkshire Medical Center's latest testing numbers in terms of positivity percentage, things seem to be trending down as well. Friday's percent positive was just over 20% compared to just over 25% last week.

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Berkshire Medical Center's information can be found here.

The City of Pittsfield's information can be found here.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

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