Community Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (also called COVID-19) is a respiratory disease that causes a lung infection. As we are seeing cases in Berkshire County, it is important that we all take steps to protect ourselves and our community. You can find links to current and reliable information on this page. We will continue to update this page and add more resources.

Symptoms of coronavirus are fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. If you experience any of these, stay home and call your primary care physician (PCP) before coming in (BMC also has a hotline at 855-BMC-LINK). Even if you are not experiencing symptoms, wash your hands with soap and water often.

 

Local Updates & Information

Town of Great Barrington Updates: check for regular updates from the Town Manager and the Select Board

Sign up for Massachusetts COVID-19 text alerts: To get up-to-date alerts sent directly to your phone, text COVIDMA to 888-777

Mass 2-1-1: Massachusetts residents can call 2-1-1 for 24/7 COVID-19 information, resources, and referrals in multiple languages. Online, multilingual chat is available on the Mass211 website

 

Health Insurance

MassHealth: COVID-19 updates for MassHealth members and applicants

MA Health Connector: An extended enrollment period is available through April 25, 2020 for qualified Massachusetts residents who are uninsured

 

Health Information & Support

Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 for a mental health crisis hotline.

Berkshire Medical Center Hotline: 855-BMC-LINK (855-262-5465), 7:00am-7:00pm, seven days a week

Berkshire Medical Center Information Kiosk

Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Provides daily updates on the coronavirus in Massachusetts

New England Region of Narcotics Anonymous: Virtual Meetings

Alcoholics Anonymous: Virtual meetings

Recovery Dharma Online: Daily video and phone meetings

 

Employment & Financial Resources

Massachusetts COVID-19 Unemployment Information: Stay informed on the latest related to Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) and COVID-19.

Unemployment Benefits: If you’ve lost your job or had your hours greatly reduced, you may qualify for unemployment benefits

Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance Virtual Town Halls: Sign up to learn about applying for unemployment assistance

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Resources for consumers to protect themselves financially during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Neighbor to Neighbor grants from the Berkshire Taconic Foundation

Assets for Artists: COVID-19 emergency funds and resources for artists compiled by MassMoCA.

 

Food & Child Care Resources

Free School Breakfasts & Lunches: In response to community need, BHRSD will be preparing and sharing to go meals (lunches and next day breakfasts) starting Tuesday March 17 from 11:30-12:30.  This will be pick up/drive thru.  Stay in your cars.

FindHelp.org: Find food assistance, help paying bills, and other free or reduced cost programs that help people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

People’s Pantry: Thursdays, 10am-1pm, 352 Main Street (St. James’ Place)

Other Food Pantries in Berkshire County (please call ahead as hours and services may change)

Takeout & Delivery in the Berkshires: Compiled by 1Berkshire

Emergency Child Care Directory: From the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care.

18 Degrees: Family services for Western Massachusetts. Call (413) 448-8281 or email info@18degreesma.org.

 

Small Businesses & Organizations

U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance

Massachusetts Resources and Guidance for Business

Massachusetts Nonprofit Network Resources

Massachusetts Resources for Agriculture

1Berkshire’s Toolbox for COVID-19 Response & Preparedness: Information and resources for businesses and employees.

 

Learning & Staying Active at Home

Spectrum is offering free service to households with K-12/college students who do not already have service

Learn to Code from Home: The Coronavirus Quarantine Developer Skill Handbook from Free Code Camp

edX: Free online courses from 140 institutions.

200 Free Educational Resources for Children: Video lessons, apps, books, and more from openculture.com

Tinkercad: Build digital models you can 3D print! Lots of tutorials to help you get started and ideas to inspire you.

Google Arts & Culture: Virtually tour 500+ museums and galleries.

Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness: Online classes

Storyline Online: Video storytimes

Wendy Macnaughton’s #DrawTogether: Weekdays 1pm EST/10am PST

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems

Draw Every Day with Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Skillshare: Now offering the first two months free

Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites on Google Earth

 

General COVID-19 Resources

Coronavirus.gov: The latest resources and updates from the CDC

CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019: Practical information on coronavirus, prevention, symptoms, what to do if you’re sick, and other FAQ

CDC Guide to keeping spaces safe

CDC Travel Notices: Find travel advisories by country

CDC video series about COVID-19

CDC Answers to FAQs

World Health Organization (WHO): Updates, information, and guidance

WHO Myth Busters: Answers to common misconceptions about coronavirus

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center

Public Health On Call: A podcast from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

New York Times: What Parents Need to Know about Coronavirus

The Math Behind the Spread of Viruses (animation)

Wash Your Lyrics: Generate a personal hand-washing song with your favorite song lyrics to be sure you wash for 20 seconds

Don’t Be a Spreader (PSA from Max and Mel Brooks)

Coronavirus PSAs from Around the World

 

Common Questions

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (including your phone!) daily.
  • Cancel events and face-to-face meetings.
  • CDC Advice

What can I do to protect others?

  • Stay home
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or elbow, and immediately wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick.
  • CDC Advice

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
If you experience the following symptoms, stay home and call your healthcare provider.

Who is at a higher risk of serious illness?

  • Older adults
  • People with serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease
  • People who are immunosuppressed
  • Further CDC information

What does it mean that Massachusetts has declared a State of Emergency?
Governor Charlie Baker declared a State of Emergency on March 10, 2020. This gives the state government more flexibility to respond to the coronavirus outbreak and protect Massachusetts residents. Current advice and guidance is available here.