COVID-19 Knowledge Base

Document

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is working closely with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide updated information about the novel coronavirus outbreak. Below are a series of resources you can use to stay informed and updated, as well as guidelines you can follow to keep yourself healthy, protected, and safe.

To get up-to-date alerts sent directly to your phone, text COVIDMA to 888-777. You can also call the informational and referral hotline, 211.

If you are experiencing symptoms, immediately contact your doctor or emergency services.

KEY RESOURCES

Mass.Gov COVID-19 Information

Information on the new coronavirus—Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for Massachusetts residents to stay updated and informed.

US.Gov Coronavirus Updates and Guidelines

Federal government resource outlining every aspect of COVID-19, sponsored by The White House, the CDC, and FEMA.

Website: www.coronavirus.gov/

CDC Update - Coronavirus cases in U.S.

This page is updated daily. Numbers close out at 4 p.m. the day before reporting.

On Saturday and Sunday, the numbers in COVID-19: U.S. at a Glance and the figure describing the cumulative total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States will be updated. These numbers are preliminary and have not been confirmed by state and territorial health departments. CDC will update weekend numbers the following Monday to reflect health department updates

Website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.htm

ABOUT

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).

CLICK HERE to learn more about Symptoms, Source, and Spread (Massachusetts).

CLICK HERE to visit U.S. Government website for country-wide information.

CASES, QUARANTINE, AND MONITORING

Massachusetts residents subject to COVID-19 quarantine by current status as of March 24, 2020*

Massachusetts Statistics:
Total of individuals subject to quarantine: 3802
Total of individuals who have completed monitoring (no longer in quarantine): 1655
Total of individuals currently undergoing monitoring/under quarantine: 2147

CLICK HERE to learn more about Testing Procedures and Guidance for Laboratories.

U.S. Statistics:
Total cases: 163,539
Total deaths: 2,860
Jurisdictions reporting cases: 55 (50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands)

* Data include both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 reported to CDC or tested at CDC since January 21, 2020, with the exception of testing results for persons repatriated to the United States from Wuhan, China and Japan. State and local public health departments are now testing and publicly reporting their cases. In the event of a discrepancy between CDC cases and cases reported by state and local public health officials, data reported by states should be considered the most up to date.

CLICK HERE for daily updates of U.S. COVID-19 cases and statistics. 

COVID-19 STATE OF EMERGENCY

Updates, emergency orders, and guidance associated with the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

On March 10, Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency, giving the Administration more flexibility to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak. The Administration continues to take steps to limit the spread of COVID-19:

EXTENSION OF NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESS CLOSURE: On March 31, Governor Baker issued an order extending the closure of non-essential businesses and organizations for in-person operations until May 4.
ORDER | ESSENTIAL SERVICES LIST | PRESS RELEASE

This order extends a previous March 23 order by Governor Baker.

PROHIBITING GATHERINGS OF 10 OR MORE: On March 31, Governor Baker issued an order extending the prohibition on gatherings of 10 or more people until May 4.
ORDER | GUIDANCE

This order extends a previous March 23 order by Governor Baker.

STAY-AT-HOME ADVISORY: On March 31, the Department of Public Health announced that is Stay-At-Home Advisory issued on March 24 remains in effect.
ADVISORY

K-12 SCHOOL CLOSURES: On March 25, Governor Baker issued an extension of the suspension of school operations for educational purposes at all public and private elementary and secondary (K-12) schools in the Commonwealth (not including residential and day schools for special needs students) until May 4.
ORDER | PRESS RELEASE

This order extends a previous March 15 order by Governor Baker.

GROCERY STORE AND PHARMACY OPERATIONS: On March 25, the Department of Public Health issued an emergency order addressing operation of grocery stores and pharmacies.
ORDER

TELEHEALTH: The Department of Public Health has issued guidance that requires all commercial insurers, self-insured plans, and the Group Insurance Commission to cover medically necessary telehealth services, whether related to COVID-19 or not. For COVID-19 treatment, insurers must do this without requiring cost-sharing of any kind, such as co-pays and coinsurance.
PRESS RELEASE | ORDER

ASSISTED LIVING VISITOR RESTRICTIONS: On March 15, the Department of Public Health issued visitor restrictions for assisted living facilities.
ORDER | GUIDANCE

NURSING HOME VISITORS RESTRICTED: On March 12, the Department of Public Health issued an emergency order restricting visitor access to nursing homes and rest homes to protect higher-risk populations from COVID-19.
PRESS RELEASE | ORDER | GUIDANCE

CLICK HERE to get more Updates, Emergency Orders, and Guidance.


COVID-19 PREVENTION AND TREATMENT

LATEST GUIDANCE
On March 24, Department of Public Health (DPH) issued a Public Health Advisory which includes a stay-at-home advisory for individuals over 70 and for those with underlying health conditions; and safe practices for the general public.

On March 23, Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order prohibiting most gatherings of over 10 people in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. The order community, civic, public, leisure, or faith-based events, sporting events, concerts, conferences, conventions, fundraisers, parades, fairs, festivals, weddings, funerals, and any similar event or activity that brings together 10 or more persons in any confined indoor or outdoor space. On March 31, this order was extended and remains in effect until May 4.

DPH has issued guidance implementing the terms of the Emergency Order. The full DPH guidance is available here: DPH Assemblage Guidance

PREVENTION
Many of the things you do to help prevent colds and the flu can help protect you against other respiratory viruses, including COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hands.
  • Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others.

There are currently no vaccines available to protect against this novel coronavirus infection.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

You can help prevent COVID-19 with social distancing:

  • Call/Facetime/online chat with friends and family
  • Stay home as much as you can
  • If you must go out:
    - Don’t gather in groups
    - Stay 6 feet away from others
    - Don’t shake hands or hug
  • And please continue to wash your hands frequently

TREATMENT

At this time there is no specific treatment for this novel coronavirus. Antiviral medications used to treat other types of viruses are being used but their efficacy is not known at this time.

For more information, please visit frequently asked questions about COVID-19.

Download a printable fact sheet – these helpful guides can be posted in workplaces and public spaces.


TRAVEL INFORMATION

TRAVEL TO MASSACHUSETTS
Beginning March 27, all travelers arriving to Massachusetts are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days. This guidance will be displayed as posters at service plazas along 1-90 eastbound, distributed as flyers at major transportation hubs and on posted on highway message boards. Visitors are instructed not to travel to Massachusetts if they are displaying symptoms. Health care workers, public health workers, public safety workers, transportation workers and designated essential workers are exempt from this requirement.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL ADVISORIES
On March 16, due to ongoing community transmission of COVID-19 occurring globally, the CDC issued an updated Travel Health Alert for all United States residents, instructing all travelers to stay home and monitor their health and practice social distancing for 14 days after returning to the US.

On March 19, the U.S. Department of State built upon their previous guidance and issued an updated travel advisory, instructing all U.S. residents to avoid international travel, and advised residents currently abroad to prepare to shelter in place. Americans living abroad have also been advised to remain there.

On March 27, all travelers arriving to Massachusetts were instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days. In addition, visitors were instructed not to travel to Massachusetts if they are displaying symptoms. Health care workers, public health workers, public safety workers, transportation workers and designated essential workers are exempt from this requirement. View the press release.

Massport has posted a Traveler Advisory with the latest travel updates for passengers: Massport Traveler Advisory Regarding COVID-19

GENERAL COVID-19 TRAVEL INFORMATION
See DPH's COVID-19 Guidance and Recommendations for current information for local boards of health, schools, clinicians, and other audiences.

Someone's risk for COVID-19 is closely tied to their recent travel history, and the travel histories of their immediate contacts — specifically, travel to areas with community transmission of COVID-19 or close contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19. Relevant travel history is being updated on the CDC website: Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel.

One of the most important messages for us to remember is that someone’s nationality alone is not a risk factor for COVID-19.

Those who have recently traveled to any countries of high level transmission and who have symptoms of respiratory illness and/or fever should contact their healthcare provider. Individuals who have come into close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider or call 211.


DAILY LIFE AND COPING

Learn how you can plan, prepare, and cope with stress before and during a COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Plan and make decisions in advance of an illness.
  • Know how to protect and support the children in your care.
  • Find ways to cope with stress that will make you, your loved ones, and your community stronger.

HOUSEHOLD CHECKLIST

As a family, you can plan and make decisions now that will protect you and your family during a COVID-19 outbreak.

Stay informed and in touch

  • Get up-to-date information about local COVID-19 activity from public health officials
  • Ask your neighbors what their plan includes.
  • Create a list of local organizations you and your household can contact in case you need access to information, healthcare services, support, and resources.
  • Create an emergency contact list including family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, healthcare providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.

Prepare for possible illness

CLICK HERE for more household strategies.

STRESS AND COPING

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.  How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and  the community you live in.

People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include

  • Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19
  • Children and teens
  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders
  • People who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use

Stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Worsening of chronic health problems
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSAexternal icon) website.

Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.

Things you can do to support yourself

Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

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