Layered Measures to Reduce Your Risk of Getting and Spreading COVID-19
Get your vaccine, get your booster: Protect those not yet eligible for vaccination, such as young children, by getting yourself and other eligible people around them vaccinated. Use the Massachusetts DPH Vax Finder and expand your search fields to include all site types for the fastest appointments. Also, if clinics appear full there may be openings the day of or the day before so check back. If you are unable to navigate the computer for scheduling dial 2-1-1 on your phone. If you are homebound call (781) 786-5033 for assistance.
Residents are reminded that getting a vaccine and booster remain the best way to protect against serious illness or hospitalization from COVID. The Department of Public Health (DPH) released
updated COVID breakthrough data on 12/20/2021 week showing that 97% of COVID breakthrough cases in Massachusetts have not resulted in hospitalization or death. Unvaccinated individuals are five times more likely to contract COVID than fully vaccinated individuals and 31 times more likely to contract COVID than individuals who have a booster.Plan:
Communicate openly with family and friends about your vaccination status and that of your guests. Discuss your risk tolerance. Plan for what to do if anyone has symptoms (delay travel and seek testing.)Mask Advisory:
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) released an updated mask advisory on 12/21/2021, recommending that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask or face covering in indoor, public spaces (inside when not at home).
urges this recommendation for individuals who have a weakened immune system or are at increased risk for severe disease because of age (60 and older) or an underlying medical condition, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated, has a weakened immune system, or is at increased risk for severe disease.
All people in Massachusetts (regardless of vaccination status) are required to continue wearing face coverings in certain settings, including transportation and health care facilities.
Please see here
for a complete list of venues where face coverings have remained mandatory since May 29, 2021. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s current mask requirement and Policy on Vaccination Rate Threshold
issued on September 27th
, 2021 is not impacted by this advisory.
To read the full advisory, visit: here
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- PCR tests are still the gold standard and most sensitive test for COVID-19. They are required in some situations, like for air travel or return to school or work. Observed antigen tests (like at a doctor's office) are also called for in some situations.
- Consider buying rapid antigen self-tests to have on hand for home use if you are symptomatic or are notified that you are a close contact. See self-test information from the CDC for more information. Self-testing is just one way to test for COVID-19. Use the COVID-19 Testing Locator to find a lab-run test near you.
- Where to Buy Self Tests: Walmart.com, Walgreens, Amazon are all great places to start a search for home kits (tests with either FDA approval or FDA EUA approval). These tests can seem hard to find but inventory is restocked regularly. Seek tests that are FDA or FDA EUA approved. If someone doesn't have them today shipments arrive daily to many of the larger stores.
- If you are under 65 and unable to afford home testing or unable to reach a testing center (are without transportation) please call (781) 786-5033.
Hosting an event? Ventilate; opening your windows about 6 inches to allow the flow and exchange of air can help reduce the number of viral respiratory particles in the air.Stay Informed:
Get Notifications: Enable MassNotify on your smartphone
- This private and anonymous service notifies users of potential exposure to COVID-19 so they may take the appropriate precautions.Stay Well:
What do I do if:Regarding Travel:
- Wash your hands frequently and with vigor for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Care for your physical and mental health during this complex time – call your doctor if you feel like you cannot cope. Help is available.
If you are considering traveling for a holiday or event, visit CDC’s Travel page
to help you decide what is best for you and your family. CDC still recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated.
- If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s domestic travel or international travel recommendations for unvaccinated people.
- Everyone, even people who are fully vaccinated, is required to wear a mask on public transportation under Federal Order and follow international travel recommendations.
- Know before you go: Check testing requirements before travel.
- People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
- You might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission if a member of your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.
- Do NOT put a mask on children younger than 2 years old.
You are asked to be particularly vigilant about self-assessment for symptoms. Symptoms of a COVID-19 infection can include any of the following, which are also common to the common cold and other viruses, influenza (seasonal flu) and even allergies: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache in combination with other symptoms, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, or runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.