Governor Baker was in Pittsfield today to take a tour of the BCC vaccination site. Baker stressed the continued need to wear a mask and continue to follow state guidelines. Baker also stressed the need to continue to test for COVID stating “testing across the country has dropped dramatically over the course of the last 3 or 4 months.” The Gov. went on to say that he is pleased with the testing numbers in Mass on average ranging between 85 and 95,000 test per day. Adding “if you’re around somebody that has tested positive, or you’ve been traveling, or whatever the issue might be, there’s still a ton of testing infrastructure out there…it’s free, it’s available you should take advantage of it.”

Governor Baker stated that to date over 5.3 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Massachusetts. Baker announced over this past weekend the state passed the milestone of 2 million Mass residents have been fully vaccinated. The Governor said he would like to see a larger allocation of doses from the federal government, stating he feels the state could administer 2x the number of vaccines given daily. Currently based on the state’s population the feds send 348,000 doses directly to the state per week. An additional 120,000 units are sent from the government directly to retail pharmacies and an additional 69,000 are sent weekly to community health centers from the feds, according to Baker.

At the press conference in the Berkshires today Baker stated that the Department of Public Health reported 1,370 new COVID-19 cases yesterday in the state out of 77,000 tests. There are currently 686 patients hospitalized with COVID in the state with 156 in ICU. The number of hospitalizations is down 70% from the peak in January according to Baker.

Over the last two weeks 465 COVID cases have been reported in Berkshire County, down from 498 the prior two-week period. The total of 23,255 tests were administered locally the last two weeks. There have been 6 deaths reported. The total for the county is 282 family members and friends lost due to COVID-19.

Pittsfield Mayor Tyer also spoke at the press conference and applauded the effort and coordination between local governments and the Baker administration.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.