The North Adams Board of Health on Tuesday rejected the idea of putting further restrictions on local eateries despite a cluster of positive COVID-19 cases linked to restaurants.

According to a story reported on by iBerkshires.com, at least six cases — two employees and four patrons — were recently traced to a single private club.

Health Director Heather DeMarsico told the Board of Health on Tuesday, "We are seeing, at least in North Adams we are seeing, several of our cases come from restaurants, and we are not seeing anything from museums, gyms, retail....We were just not sure if we should be thinking about imposing more strict regulations for them or if it's just bad luck on their part or if that's because where everybody is congregating."

There are currently 50 active cases of the novel coronavirus in the city but DeMarsico estimated there were about seven or eight that have not been recorded in the state's Maven system.
North Adams has hit something of a plateau, she said, with cases falling off as new ones are recorded.
The city has recorded 10 positive cases over the past two weeks but none in the last few days.
Chairman John Meaney Jr. asked if the clusters were a matter of noncompliance with the state's protocols.
DeMarsico said she'd been visiting a lot of restaurants and, with the exception of the one, did not see a lot of noncompliance. However, she estimated that about 90 percent had had at least one case.
DeMarsico explained:
Most of the restaurants that are busy are going above and beyond. They're spraying, they're disinfecting, they're doing the 25 percent capacity. I don't know if it's just bad luck.

Member Kevin Lamb said they didn't want to harm the city's small businesses. He suggested a communication that the board was monitoring the situation. Meaney thought it should be a notice to the restaurants informing them of the uptick in cases and emphasizing the guidelines.

The mayor agreed that a direct communication to restaurants and private clubs letting them know that the board was not prepared to impose further restrictions should also remind them of the guidance.
Meaney also suggested that the board consider meeting biweekly to stay on top of the situation.
There is much more to the story. Please visit iBerkshires.com's website here for more information. We thanks them for the update.
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