23 03, 2020

COVID-19 in the Berkshires

2020-07-06T09:34:43-04:00March 23rd, 2020|Categories: Press, Uncategorized|

Information & Resources Regarding COVID-19 in the Berkshires                  updated 7/6/20

As cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to spread worldwide and throughout the United States, including Massachusetts, we continue to monitor the situation and will provide informational updates.

Current Reopening Phase: Phase 3- Step 1

Reopening Massachusetts– the official website of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ reopening plan.

Reopening Massachusetts Report – View and download the Commonwealth’s report on reopening the economy.

Reopening: When Can My Business Open? – Visit this link to learn more from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts about the different phases of reopening, and which types of businesses can reopen during each phase. This resource will be updated from time to time as the situation allows.

Reopening: Four-Phase Approach – Visit this link for information about the four phase approach to reopening the Commonwealth’s economy.

Before reopening all businesses large and small must follow these guidelines:
  • Create a Control Plan This Control Plan does not need to be submitted to the State but must remain on file in case of any employee or customer complaints to the local board of health
  •  Compliance Attestation Businesses must attest that they have completed a control plan, and post it on premises
  • Employer  and Worker  posters must be posted. Describe social distancing rules and protocols for hygiene, cleaning, and disinfecting
  • Mandatory safety standards for all workplaces apply to all MA businesses
  • Sector-specific protocols
    • Under each Sector review your circulars and checklists on How to adjust operations for public safety
What supplies do I need to reopen my business or return to work?

As an employer, you must:

  • Require masks and coverings for all employees
  • Provide handwashing supplies and capabilities
  • Sanitize high touch areas, such as workstations, equipment, screens, doorknobs, restrooms throughout work site
  • Additional mandatory workplace safety standards can be found here
  • As an employee, you must wear a face covering or mask at your workplace
  • Southern Berkshire Regional Emergency Planning Committee announced starting this week any private, non-profit or non-governmental organizations that are requesting PPE supplies should follow this new process: Send an email to reoc34.manager@mass.gov
    • In the email include:
      • Agency Information
      • Contact Person
      • Staff Size
      • Specific items, including sizes and quantities
      • Burn rate of the items (requests should be limited to enough for 7 days)
      • Address they want it shipped
  • Complete List of Emergency Orders & Guidance
  • On July 2nd, Gov. Baker announced Phase III of the state’s gradual reopening will begin on Monday, July 6th. Phase III, like Phase II, will be implemented in steps. He also said it would last longer than Phase II so officials “can closely monitor the impact” of the new steps. And he announced updated guidelines on indoor and outdoor gatherings. For the City of Boston, Phase III and the gatherings order will take effect on Monday, July 13. He urged people to be vigilant and continue to wear face coverings, practice social distancing, wash their hands, and stay home if they’re sick.
  • On June 30th, Governor Baker issued gave a Travel Update: All travelers arriving to Massachusetts – including Massachusetts residents returning home – are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days, except that, beginning July 1, 2020, travelers from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, and New Jersey arriving in Massachusetts are exempt from this directive and need not self-quarantine for 14 days.  In addition, workers designated by the federal government as essential critical infrastructure workers are exempt from the directive to self-quarantine for 14 days if traveling to Massachusetts for work purposes.  All persons are instructed not to travel to Massachusetts if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
    Massachusetts Visitor Self Quarantine Instructions
  • Phase 3 of the Reopening has been delayed until July 6, at the earliest.
    • Phase 3 businesses and organizations include:
    • Fitness centers and health clubs (including yoga studios and pools)
    • Movie theaters
    • Museums
    • Performing arts venues
    • Overnight camps
    • Indoor and outdoor sports programs
    • Indoor historic sites
  • Restaurant and Lodging Guidance:  The Administration on June 6th issued workplace safety standards for restaurants and lodging. These workplace specific safety standards are organized around four distinct categories covering Social Distancing, Hygiene Protocols, Staffing and Operations and Cleaning and Disinfecting.
  • Restaurants: Outdoor dining will begin at the start of Phase II. Indoor dining will begin later within Phase II, subject to public health data. Even when indoor seating is permitted, use of outdoor space will be encouraged for all restaurants. For full restaurant guidance, click here.
  • Lodging: Hotels, motels and other lodging businesses will be allowed to expand their operations in Phase II. Lodging safety standards apply to all forms of lodging including hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, short term residential rentals including Airbnb and VRBO. For full lodging guidance, click here. 
  • On May 18th, the Baker-Polito Administration released Reopening Massachusetts, the Reopening Advisory Board’s report, which details a four-phased strategy to responsibly reopen businesses and activities while continuing to fight COVID-19.
  • One June 1, 2020 Governor Baker issued an Executive Order that provides a detailed list of businesses and activities that fall into Phases II, III, and IV of the Commonwealth’s Re-Opening Plan. The Order also permits all Phase II enterprises, including retail, to begin preparations to safely resume operation in advance of the start of the second phase. In addition to the retail sector, the Executive Order details further requirements for the safe resumption of amateur youth and adult sports and outdoor dining.
    Effective immediately, the Executive Order permits Phase II businesses to reopen their physical workplaces to workers only to conduct necessary preparations prior to the start of Phase II. Preparations include but are not limited to completing a COVID-19 Control Plan, implementing sector-specific protocols, and complying with Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards.
     For Reopening Phase II Executive Order,
     For Childcare Provider Reopening Order,
  • The Governor announced on May 29, 2020 that restaurants could resume outdoor dining when Phase 2 of his plan begins and add indoor dining with restrictions later in Phase 2. Hotels could also begin welcoming guests when Phase 2 begins. On May 18th, Governor Baker announced new reopening guidelines. Reopening Massachusetts
  • On May 1, 2020 Governor Baker issued an order requiring the use of masks or face coverings in public situations when appropriate social distancing measures are not possible. ORDER | GUIDANCE
  • On April 28, 2020 Governor Baker announced all Non-essential businesses and organizations must stay shuttered and Massachusetts residents should stay at home to May 18th.  An order to limit all gatherings to 10 people or less was also being extended to May 18th. He stressed that essential businesses, including grocery stores, pharmacies, medical facilities, and gas stations, would remain open. Liquor stores, hardware stores, auto repair shops, and pet supply stores can also continue to operate, and restaurants can continue to provide take-out or delivery service. Click here for the essential services extension order.
  • On April 22, Governor Baker issued an emergency order extending the closure of all public and private schools through the end of the school year, and the closure of all non-emergency child care programs until June 29, 2020 in an effort to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth.
  • MA Department of Public Health Advisory Regarding Face Coverings and Cloth Masks (4/10/20). Read this advisory for information about the Department of Public Health’s guidance for making and wearing a mask in public places like grocery stores and pharmacies.
  • On April 7, the Department of Public Health issued an emergency order regarding grocery store operations and occupancy limits. (See the Order)
  • On March 31, Baker announced that hotels, motels and online services such as Airbnb are now only permitted to offer rooms for “limited purposes” including “direct efforts related to the fight against COVID-19.” He cited as an example for healthcare workers and state residents displaced from their homes as a result of the virus. Hotel/Motel Guidance
  • On March 24, Governor Baker asks all travelers arriving in Mass to self-isolate. “Would-be visitors to Massachusetts should stay home, and anyone who must come to the state from elsewhere should self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.” Electronic road signs will be placed along the Massachusetts Turnpike, Interstate 84 and other major highways, especially toward the south, where New York has emerged as the national epicenter of the coronavirus. Commuters who cross into Massachusetts for work will still be allowed to come. Click here for Stay at Home Advisory

Hotlines & Text Alerts

  • Stay informed -Call 2-1-1 and choose the “CALLTOTALK” option
  • Text Alerts – Text “COVIDMA” to 888-777 to receive COVID-19 text message alerts straight to your phone and stay up to date with the latest news + updates from the Commonwealth.
  • MEMA’s Emergency Operations Center’s Private Sector Hotline: 508-820-2094 (M–F, 8AM – 4PM)
  • Berkshire Medical Center toll-free hotline for questions/concerns: 855-BMC-LINK – or – 855-262-5465 (7 days/week, 7AM – 7PM)
  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health: 617-983-6800 (24-hour emergency hotline)

Commonwealth of Mass Resources & Federal/International Resources

National Alliance on Mental Health in Berkshire County Resources
Berkshire Coalition for Suicide Prevention
Berkshire AA Intergroup
Berkshire Al-Anon
Berkshire County NA

  • Tri-Town Health Department
  • Town of Stockbridge
  • Berkshire Health Systems has established a toll-free hotline for questions regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). It is open from 7 AM to 7 PM seven days a week. Call 855-BMC-LINK (855-262-5465)

    • Berkshire Health Systems Community Nutrition Support
    • Emergency Food Map
    • Berkshire South Regional Community Center announces Nourishing Neighbors, a new supplemental community meal program running for eight weeks and beginning today, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Through Nourishing Neighbors Berkshire South will distribute 500 restaurant-prepared cold to-go meals each Wednesday from 1-3 p.m. with the help of a volunteer team. Meal recipients will drive up to a non-contact distribution system in the circle of the front lot at the community center.
    • United Methodist Church, 6 Holmes Road, (behind NBT Bank) The Food Pantry is a cooperative effort on the part of all the area churches of Lenox; St. Ann’s, St. Helena’s, United Church of Christ (Church on the Hill), Trinity Episcopal, United Methodist Church of Lenox and St. Vincent de Paul. Saturdays from 10am to 11am
    • Lee Food Pantry: 45 Railroad St., Lee. Serves people in Becket, Lee, Lenox Dale, Otis, Stockbridge, Tyringham and West Stockbridge,
      Saturdays from 10am to noon, 413-266-1141, website
    • Berkshire Hills Regional School District Meals & Pickup Locations
    • Meals on Wheels is still running. Please call Elder Services of Berkshire County at 413-499-0524 for more information.
    • 1 Berkshire has a countywide Eat Local Food takeout list 
    • Eat Berkshires offers a list of restaurants that are serving take out orders
    • First Congregational Church Stockbridge, Open Table provides well-prepared, healthy meals to the Stockbridge area for whoever wants or needs them.

Non-Profits & Arts


Explore The Berkshires Virtually 
We all need a break from the news, so why not take some time to virtually explore what the Berkshires has to offer? Discover cultural experiences, outdoor fun and more, all with a click of the button

Homebound Fun & Cabin Fever Survival
Check out 1Berkshires collection of fun and entertaining ways to survive social distancing and homebound jitters.

Best Practices & Tips

  • Practice good hygiene
    • Wash hands often. Avoid touching your face.
    • Avoid close contact. Practice social distancing (at least 6 feet).
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
    • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and areas.
  • Avoid meetings & travel
    • Use video and phone conferencing options when possible.
    • Postpone large meetings, gatherings, and events.
    • Assess the risks of business travel.
  • Stay home if…
    • If you feel sick, stay home.
    • If your immediate family feels sick, stay home.
    • Give sick family members their own room, if possible, and have only one family member care for them. Consider providing additional protections for household members who are 65 years or older, or who have underlying conditions. Limit visitors.
  • Stay calm & prepare
    • Stay calm. Know the signs and symptoms. Follow official resources to stay informed.
    • Consider stocking up on 30-day supply of prescriptions, plus non-perishable foods and toiletries. Please refrain from wiping out store shelves. The entire community can prepare.
    • Establish plans to telework, arrangements for childcare, ways to communicate with family and friends, and how to adapt to cancelled events.
    • Check in on neighbors and friends, especially people who live alone.


7 02, 2020

Winter 2020 E Newsletter

2020-02-07T13:40:41-05:00February 7th, 2020|Categories: Press|

Embrace winter in the Stockbridge, MA area. Hit the slopes and scenic winter trails. Explore our world-class museums. Treat yourself to local spirits and brews while enjoying a food lovers dream meal. Discover unique finds in our charming shops and galleries. Make a weekend of it or longer, with a stay in a cozy Inn or Bed & Breakfasts.

Visit StockbridgeChamber.org and plan your next winter getaway today.


14 06, 2019

The Linde Center for Music and Learning

2019-06-14T15:11:15-04:00June 14th, 2019|Categories: Press|

June 14, 2019
By Margaret D. Kerswill

The new Linde Center at Tanglewood is a 6,000 square feet performance and rehearsal space, designed by William Rawn Associates (architect of Ozawa Hall), opening on June 28, 2019. The Center will also host the new Tanglewood Learning Institute (TLI).

Kicking off programming for The Linde Center for Music and Learning is The Big Idea speaker series which features such notable public figures as Madeleine K. Albright, Secretary of State (1997-2001); Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian; and Daniel Shapiro, expert on negotiation and conflict resolution as well as founding director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program. Find a full list of programming here.

The Linde Center, a four-building multi-use complex for performance and learning, is the first major expansion of the cultural center’s programming since 1937 and is solar powered offering a climate controlled environment for year-round use. TLI will offer over 140 programs year-round for audiences. Additionally, The Center will be available to the Berkshire community for use throughout the year.

Tanglewood, the summer home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, is a proud member of The Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce.

14 06, 2019

Quaint Inn, New England Hospitality

2019-06-14T14:25:07-04:00June 14th, 2019|Categories: Press|

June 14, 2019
By Margaret D. Kerswill

The Town of Stockbridge offers many different inn and B&B experiences to suit nearly every taste. If you want to feel as though you’re a pampered guest in someone’s beautiful home surrounded by a healthy dose of nature, The Stockbridge Country Inn is for you. That delightful remote feeling is purely an illusion, however, as this inn is just minutes from both The Norman Rockwell Museum and Chesterwood, both celebrating 50 year anniversaries in 2019.

The inn is a Federal country house which dates back to 1856, and is nestled on several acres with lovely, lush gardens and an in-ground pool. Enjoy beautiful antiques of days gone by along with all the plush comforts of our modern world in the bright, well appointed rooms. Each guest suite offers a tasteful and private bath en suite, full bath amenities including soft cotton robes, and gourmet country style breakfast served daily… so bring your appetite! Your hosts are both gracious and accommodating making you feel more like old friends than guests.

Be sure to check out their special promotions and offers and book your stay today! The summer season is about to explode with activities.

The Stockbridge Country Inn is a proud member of The Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce.

14 06, 2019

Intertwined Stockbridge Anniversaries 2019

2019-06-15T08:14:23-04:00June 14th, 2019|Categories: Press|


ARC-New Exterior 5.jpg

June 14, 2019
By Margaret D. Kerswill

Stockbridge (and surrounds), Massachusetts – Summer in Stockbridge holds many offerings for visitors and residents alike. It’s advisable to plan ahead so you don’t miss out on the things that interest you the most. Whether you’re into the visual and performing arts; history, Gilded Age cottages, and museums; lazy strolls through our quintessential New England town; shopping and dining; or hiking and other outdoor activities, Stockbridge and its surrounds will keep you joyfully occupied for a day, weekend, week, or all summer long!

In addition to the usual goings on, The Red Lion InnThe Norman Rockwell Museum, and Austen Riggs Center are all celebrating momentous anniversaries this year. The common threads running through each of these organizations is Norman Rockwell, himself, and The Fitzpatrick family.

Jack Fitzpatrick served in the Massachusetts State Senate from 1973 – 1980, and was fondly referred to as “The Senator” for the remainder of his life. In 1968, Jack and his wife, Jane Pratt Fitzpatrick, purchased (the now famous) The Red Lion Inn which had been operating as a tavern/inn since 1773. For the last 50 years, the inn has been under the stewardship of the Fitzpatricks, their daughters, and now granddaughter. Under the watchful eye of Sarah Eustis, the inn has taken on major renovation projects and is evolving to meet the current needs and desires of visitors and business people while continuing to offer the stellar New England hospitality that it is so well known for.

In 1969, the first Norman Rockwell Museum opened at The Old Corner House on Main Street. Not only did both Jack and Jane pose for Norman Rockwell, but they generously donated to the museum over a span of 40 years to help assist with its evolution and growth into the nationally recognized museum that it is today. Mrs. Fitzpatrick’s sentiment was that it’s easy to show up with a check. The hard work is putting it to proper use and getting things done. She was ever humble about showing up for her community.

During his time on staff at Austen Riggs Center (1950-1960), Erik Erikson, noted developmental psychologist, who himself had been a painter in adolescence and early adulthood, befriended Norman Rockwell. In the late 1980s, the idea was born for the Erik Erikson Center at Austen Riggs to promote education and research in psychodynamic thought and treatment. (Side note: You’ll also find the Fitzpatrick Lobby at Austen Riggs Center. No doubt when Mrs. Fitzpatrick heard of their need, she was ready with her checkbook to assist the community she so loved.)

Today in The Old Corner House, the first site of The Norman Rockwell Museum, you will find the centennial celebration exhibition The Hospital on Main Street: Human Dignity and Mental Health hosted by Austen Riggs Center

Stockbridge remains a close knit community of people even through the expansion of businesses and services. Daily you can find locals at the post office socializing with their neighbors and offering a friendly hello to folks walking through town.

Book your trip today to learn more about all the amazing people behind the modern evolution of Stockbridge, which remains a quintessential New England small town.

The Red Lion Inn, The Norman Rockwell Museum, and Austen Riggs Center are proud members of The Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce.

Chesterwood Celebrates 50 Years


Another notable Stockbridge anniversary is Chesterwood, celebrating 50 years as site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Chesterwood is the former summer estate and studio of Daniel Chester French, sculptor of the Minute Man (Boston, MA) and the Lincoln Memorial (Washington, DC). Visit the museum and studio to learn more about French’s vast body of work and to see the working models that led to his most famous public works. Open daily, 10 am – 5 pm, May 25th through October 27th. Be sure to check out the calendar of events, and plan your visit today!

Chesterwood is a proud member of The Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce.