COVID-19 Overview

COVID-19 is a new respiratory disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases. 

Symptoms of this infection may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include:

  • Fever
  • Cough and shortness of breath, and
  • In severe cases, pneumonia (fluid in the lungs).

Call your healthcare professional if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19. See DPH's travel information related to COVID-19.

You can also call 2-1-1 to learn more about:

  • COVID-19 prevention, symptoms, and treatment
  • Information about testing
  • Guidance for people planning or returning from travel

 

Tips For Prevention

The MA DPH, CDC, and other federal, state, and local agencies are leading a comprehensive response to COVID-19.  Here are some things that each of us can and should do to keep ourselves and those around us safe and healthy:

  • Wash your hands, often
  • Avoid close contact with other people
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces, often

 

Stay Informed

Visit your town websites to learn the most recent information, local services, and guidance from our municipal officials.  

State Resources

Federal Resources

 

Health Services

Information

Insurance Coverage

  • Massachusetts health insurers are required to cover the cost of testing and treatment for members who may be affected by COVID-19, including not charging copays or deductibles for those services.
  • The Massachusetts Health Connector announced a special enrollment period until April 25th for residents to apply for coverage.
  • MassHealth announced new policies to expand telehealth coverage, allow 90-day and early refills of prescriptions, make billing for COV-19 tests easier for providers, and remind providers that there are no copays for lab tests, and pharmacies that they cannot deny medications if a member cannot pay.
  • Attorney General Health Care Helpline: (888) 830-6277

 

Transportation

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

  • Service changes have been made across modes to match reduced demand and help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
    • Bus and Silver Line: Saturday service for most routes, with additional service on busier routes during peak travel times
    • Subway: Saturday service on the Red Line, Orange Line, and Green Line B, C, and D Branches. Saturday service with increased frequency to reflect ridership demand on the Blue Line and Green Line E Branch.
    • Commuter Rail: Reduced service on all lines
    • Ferry: No service
    • The RIDE: There are no planned service changes.
  • Increased cleaning and disinfecting is happening system-wide, with vehicles being cleaned daily and high-contact surfaces being cleaned every 4 hours.

Registry of Motor Vehicles

 

Relief for Small Businesses and Employees

Small Business Resources 

Unemployment Assistance

  • The week-long waiting period for unemployment benefits has been waived.
  • Eligibility for unemployment assistance has also been expanded for those whose jobs have been impacted by COVID-19. Read the details here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-covid-19-unemployment-information
  • If you have any concerns about earned sick time, paid leave, or your rights regarding COVID-19, call the Attorney General’s Fair Labor Hotline (M-F 10am - 4pm) at 617-727-3465

 

Consumer Protections

Utilities

  • The DPU has issued a moratorium on electric and gas shut-offs by all private and public utility companies until the end of the declared state of emergency.
  • National Grid will continue emergency response, electricity and gas service, customer-requested service, regular billing, and payment assistance, while pausing collections activities and disconnections, non-essential planned electric outages, non-essential electric and gas-related services, and energy efficiency on-premise services. Get the latest updates from https://www.nationalgridus.com/COVID-19

Student Loans

  • The federal government has announced that it is waiving interest on student loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education. 
  • The Attorney General’s Student Loan Assistance Unit is available to help borrowers explore repayment options, including options to temporarily stop making student loan payments. Contact info: (888) 830-6277