COVID-19/Coronavirus Information

Fenway Health is now able to do COVID-19 testing. We have partnered with the Boston Public Health Commission and Boston Public Schools to begin using the McKinley School parking lot behind our 1340 Boylston Street location as a COVID-19 testing site. We have set up a tent in the parking lot and are currently piloting drive-through, bike-through, and walk-through tests. Click here for more information.

Online Appointment Scheduling is Now Available
As part of our continuing efforts to make it even easier for our patients to access high quality, affirming care, Fenway Health is now offering online appointment scheduling. Our new appointment scheduling system currently allows new and existing patients to schedule medical, behavioral health, and optometry appointments in four easy steps. Click here to read more.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, Fenway Health is monitoring the latest guidance from the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide updated information as it becomes available.

Learn the facts about COVID-19 and help stop the spread of misinformation. Visit CDC’s webpages Share the Facts, Stop the Fear and coronavirus.gov.

We are working closely with area medical facilities such as Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to remain on top of the COVID-19 situation. As things evolves, we will continue to update you through our website, through e-mail communication, in our patient portal, and via our social media outlets.

We’re ready to help:

  • Our phones and emails are staffed by people who know how to start assessing your risk and answering your questions.
  • We have specially trained clinical teams who evaluate all people with a high risk of COVID-19 exposure or disease by phone or in person.
  • We assess our systems and plans daily to meet changing needs and reports.

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel if you have or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a face mask before emergency medical services arrive.

New Patients

Learn more about becoming a Fenway Health patient.

Telehealth

Be seen by a provider from the comfort of your home.

Pharmacy

We offer free shipping on prescriptions.

Updated August 5, 2020

We are now accepting donations of cloth masks!

Stay informed! Here are some additional online resources.

We have made changes at our Fenway Health locations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to better keep everyone safe. The below provides an overview and you can download a more comprehensive FAQ document here.

What will be different when I visit a Fenway Health location?
  • Anyone entering one of our buildings will be screened for COVID-19.
  • Staff and visitors at all of our locations will wear masks.
  • We have rearranged furniture and added signage to encourage social distancing.
  • We regularly clean and disinfect all public areas, exam rooms, restrooms, and work spaces.
  • Most staff continue to work remotely. While we still prioritize continuity with your care team, you may be more likely to receive in-person care from staff on other teams.
  • We have created clinical and appointment algorithms to help manage on-site volume and flow.
  • We have adjusted our workflows to help more efficiently move people through our buildings during their appointments.
  • Where possible, we have enacted unidirectional foot traffic through our facility to prevent crossing traffic and unnecessary exposures.
  • We ask that you try to arrive for your appointment no earlier than ten minutes before it is scheduled. We aim to limit your time spent in waiting areas.
  • Parents of young children and guardians or caretakers of adults who require special assistance are welcome in our clinical spaces, but we request that other companions remain outside of our buildings if possible while your appointment is completed. This will help us better maintain physical distancing for everyone.
We will continue to offer telehealth appointments and free pharmacy delivery to help minimize your need to travel to access healthcare and services. As we enter Phase Two, we’ll be expanding the care and services offered onsite at 1340 Boylston Street and Fenway: South End.

Fenway Health is now testing both Fenway Health patients and non-patients for COVID-19 using a Quest PCR Test. This kind of test looks for a current, active infection with the COVID 19 virus. Testing is free.

Testing is available Monday–Friday, 8 AM–12 PM, by appointment. If you think you need a COVID-19 test, please call the medical appointment line at 617.927.6000. Click here for detailed information.

Accurate information about COVID and how to best screen for it is rapidly changing.

Although the Quest COVID IgG antibody test is available to Fenway Health, we still don’t know how to best interpret the results. We don’t yet have enough information to know how test results relate to a history of COVID infection, and results may not adequately indicate if you have been infected with COVID, just exposed to COVID, or if you are immune to COVID. Before we give advice on who should be tested, we need to learn more about who it is best for.

As a result, we are not recommending testing for most people. If you have questions, we are happy to schedule a telehealth visit to discuss if this testing is right for you. Please do keep in mind that guidance regarding testing is likely to change in the upcoming weeks and months. Please check our website for updates on testing.

Yes. Fenway Health is open to patients in accordance with state public health guidelines.

We are working to maintain high quality health care while best protecting patients and staff from COVID-19.

Currently, we are seeing patients on a reduced operating schedule and via Telehealth. We encourage patients to use the available telehealth options, as noted in the below FAQ response about our hours of operation.

Online Appointment Scheduling Now Available
As part of our continuing efforts to make it even easier for our patients to access high quality, affirming care, Fenway Health is now offering online appointment scheduling. Our new appointment scheduling system currently allows new and existing patients to schedule medical and optometry appointments in four easy steps. Click here to learn more.

Online Appointment Scheduling Now Available
As part of our continuing efforts to make it even easier for our patients to access high quality, affirming care, Fenway Health is now offering online appointment scheduling. Our new appointment scheduling system currently allows new and existing patients to schedule medical and optometry appointments in four easy steps. Click here to learn more.


You can make appointments for telehealth and onsite care:

Medical & Nursing Departments


  • 1340 Boylston Street (Ansin Building)
    Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:30 pm
    Saturday 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

If you need to schedule an in-person or telehealth appointment with a medical provider for either a new issue or to follow up regarding an existing condition, please do not hesitate to contact our Appointment Line at 617.927.6000. Whenever possible, please do not walk into the health center to request services. Medical and Behavioral Health telehealth visits may occur outside of these hours.

  • 142 Berkeley Street (Fenway: South End)
    Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:30 pm

If you need to schedule an in-person or telehealth appointment with a medical provider for either a new issue or for follow up of an existing condition, please do not hesitate to contact our Appointment Line at 617.247.7555. Whenever possible, please do not walk into the health center to request services.

  • We have also consolidated clinical staff from the Sidney Borum, Jr. Health Center to 1340 Boylston and the South End. Borum patients can continue to call 617.457.8140 to make appointments at one of those locations or for telehealth services.


Medical and Behavioral Health telehealth visits may occur outside of these hours.

If you have any questions about how we can best help care for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your medical team or to call our Nursing line at 617.927.6300*.

*after hours, this number is covered by our answering service, which can connect you to Call4Health, a nurse triage service that works directly with our on call physicians to meet your needs.

We continue to work with our partner hospital Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) to ensure that our patients who have respiratory symptoms and need an in-person evaluation can access care through BIDMC’s Ambulatory Respiratory / Cohorted Care Unit (ARCCU), urgent care clinics, or Emergency Department (ED).

Our Medical and Nursing Departments continue to offer telehealth care to patients for most issues.


Our Phase 2 expansion allows us to now schedule in-person appointments for all of the following reasons:

  • Acute illnesses that require an in-person evaluation (examples: skin infections, abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, STI symptoms)
  • Chronic illnesses that require an in-person evaluation (examples: diabetes, high blood pressure)
  • Adult preventive care that requires an in-person visit (examples: mammograms, pap smears)
  • Pediatric preventive care (examples: well child visits, immunizations)
  • Reproductive health care that requires an in-person visit (examples: long-acting reversible contraception procedures, inseminations, obstetric visits)
  • Procedures aimed at treating progressive conditions that, if deferred, may lead to high risk or significant worsening of a patient’s health (examples: skin biopsies of suspicious lesions, cervical colposcopy, high resolution anoscopy)
  • Continued administration of injectable medications (examples: testosterone or estradiol injections)
  • Any care for patients who cannot utilize telehealth
Yes. Most behavioral health appointments are now being offered utilizing our telehealth system.

Is the Behavioral Health Department offering onsite appointments?
Not at this time. Our Behavioral Health Department continues to offer telehealth care and will do so for the foreseeable future. We are providing psychiatry, psychotherapy, group therapy, and addiction recovery and wellness care. Our Violence Recovery Program also continues to provide counseling and advocacy services via telehealth.

Our Walk-In services for registered Behavioral Health clients remain accessible through telehealth Monday through Friday from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, with planning underway to resume onsite care in the near future. The Behavioral Health Walk-In Zoom room opens each day at noon and stays open until 4:00 pm. It is accessible by using the Zoom ID: 795 004 7430. Anyone without access to Zoom can receive telephone-only support. For more information, call 617.816.8242.Our group Acupuncture Detox program will remain closed for the time being, but we are working on plans to reopen in the near future. For more information, call 617.927.6202.

Are therapy groups still happening?
Currently, some groups are offering therapy sessions via telephone. More group therapy sessions will become available as we continue to expand our telehealth system. Contact your group leader to check on the status of your group’s meeting.

If you would like to register as a new patient or make a behavioral health or addiction recovery & wellness appointment, please call the Behavioral Health Intake Line at 617.927.6202.
Eye Care
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, our Eye Care Department has changed our hours of operation to Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Optometry
You can schedule a telehealth appointment with an optometry provider for either a new issue or for follow up of an existing condition by using our online scheduling system or calling our Optometry Line at 617.927.6190. In person appointments are also available for urgent and emergent eye care issues.

Optical Shop
Due to physical space limitations of our optical department we ask that you do not walk in to request services. If you are in need of any optical related services please contact our Optical Line at 857.313.6581 and we will schedule an appointment for you.

Online Appointment Scheduling Now Available
As part of our continuing efforts to make it even easier for our patients to access high quality, affirming care, Fenway Health is now offering online appointment scheduling. Our new appointment scheduling system currently allows new and existing patients to schedule medical and optometry appointments in four easy steps. Click here to learn more.

We are still determining how best to safely reopen Dentistry services.

ALL Dentistry patients are required to contact our Dental Line at 617.927.6127 to schedule an initial telehealth appointment with a dentist, who will then assess the need for an on-site appointment on a case-by-case basis.

The safety of our patients during this time continues to be our number one priority.  Whenever possible, please do not walk in to the health center to request services.  We are doing our best to resume normal operation and we will continue to update/contact patients to reschedule routine care appointments once it’s safe to do so.

Thank you for your patience!

We will be temporarily consolidating staff from the Sidney Borum, Jr. Health Center to our 1340 Boylston Street and Fenway: South End sites. Borum patients can continue to call 617.457.8140 to schedule an in-person or telehealth appointment, to speak to a Borum nurse, or to receive after hours advice. Please do not come in to the Borum for care.

Yes. Fenway Health is providing telehealth appointments. If you need to schedule an in-person or telehealth appointment with a medical provider for either a new issue or for follow up of an existing condition, please do not hesitate to contact our Appointment Line at 617.927.6000 if you are a patient at our 1340 Boylston Street location or 617.247.7555 if you are a Fenway: South End patient.

We will also be expanding operating hours and staffing in our Medical Department Call Center. If you need to speak with a nurse, please do not hesitate to reach the Call Center by calling 617.927.6300*.

What illnesses can be diagnosed in a telehealth visit?
Your physician may be able to diagnose many of the same issues using telehealth that they can during an in-person visit. This may involve the use of live interactive video or diagnostic images that you would forward to your physician, vital signs, and/or patient data for later review. Speak with patient care staff for more information.

Online Appointment Scheduling Now Available
As part of our continuing efforts to make it even easier for our patients to access high quality, affirming care, Fenway Health is now offering online appointment scheduling. Our new appointment scheduling system currently allows new and existing patients to schedule medical and optometry appointments in four easy steps. Click here to learn more.

Yes. You can call in your prescription/refill, or request refills online, or through our mobile app.

If you generally use the pharmacy at 1340 Boylston Street, call 617.927.6330 – please ask us about how we can deliver or mail your medication to your home or workplace free of charge. Request refills electronically or via the Rx2Go app on your mobile phone.

If you generally use the pharmacy at our Fenway: South End location, call 617.927.6330 – please ask us about how we can deliver or mail your medication to your home or workplace free of charge.

Request refills electronically or via the Rx2Go app on your mobile phone.

Please contact our pharmacy or your prescribing medical provider to inquire about whether or not this option is available for your medication.

Pharmacies at both 1340 Boylston Street and Fenway: South End will remain open to serve you during the following hours of operation:

1340 Boylston Street (Ansin Building)
– Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 7:00 pm

Call 617.927.6330 – please ask us about how we can deliver or mail your medication to your home or workplace free of charge.

Request refills electronically or via the Rx2Go app on your mobile phone.

142 Berkeley Street (Fenway: South End)
– Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 8:00 am – 5:30 pm
– Wednesday 8:00 am – 6:30 pm
– Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Call 617.927.6163 – please ask us about how we can deliver or mail your medication to your home or workplace free of charge.

Request refills electronically or via the Rx2Go app on your mobile phone.

  • Housing, Legal, Community-Based Case Management, and Sexual Health
    The Housing, Legal, Community-Based Case Management, and Sexual Health teams continue their important work remotely. Rental Assistant payments and essential services to people who inject drugs continue.
  • Access Drug User Health
    Access Drug User Health will maintain a presence at 75 Amory Street where drop-in space is closed but clients can exchange syringe supplies on an individual basis.

    Our Green Street location, is piloting an outreach-only model, where Access staff will meet clients in the community instead of on location. Additionally, they will continue to distribute Narcan and supplies via van. Due to COVID-19 precautions, our Green Street location is not offering client services.
  • Youth on Fire
    Youth on Fire’s drop-in space is temporarily closed.

All Boomerangs store locations are closed to the public, for both shopping and donation of items. However, staff will continue to report to the stores until further notice. They will be deployed in the short term to clean and restock the stores, as well as to finish closing the West Roxbury location.

Fenway Health and AIDS Action’s public events that were originally scheduled to take place through April 2020 are being postponed to a later date. We are continuing to evaluate public events that are currently schedule for May 2020 and beyond.

Health insurance carriers are required to provide medically necessary telehealth, testing, counseling, treatment, and vaccination (once it’s developed and available) services related to COVID-19 to all Massachusetts residents without charging copays, coinsurance, or deductibles. 

If you currently have health insurance and have specific questions regarding your health insurance, please contact your provider.

We Believe That Everyone Deserves Access To High-Quality, Affordable Health Care

Has your employment situation recently changed? Are you and your family currently uninsured? If you live in Massachusetts, Fenway Health can help you enroll in Commonwealth Care, MassHealth, and other programs. We can also talk to you about our sliding fee schedule for patients and clients Call us at 617.927.6000 and ask for an appointment with our financial assistance counselors. No one is denied care based on ability to pay.

A number of states have issued travel restrictions to help decrease the spread of COVID-19. This remains a rapidly evolving situation. At this time, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health continues to advise that all travelers returning to Massachusetts are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days. In addition, 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. Please visit the MA DPH website for more information.

At Fenway Health, we encourage you to follow the above DPH recommendations to keep everyone as safe as possible from COVID. This includes rescheduling your in person visit if you have engaged in any type of higher risk situation where you have not been able to wear a mask or socially distance within a group setting. We appreciate your help in keeping our staff and your community safe from COVID 19.

What is COVID-19? ​

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 (an abbreviation of “coronavirus disease 2019” where “CO” stands for corona, “VI” for virus, and “D” for disease), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.

The virus spreads primarily between people through coughing and/or sneezing within about 6 feet of one another. COVID-19 may live on surfaces for several hours. People may become infected by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their face. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. While there is currently no vaccine, these simple steps can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause symptoms ranging from the common cold to severe respiratory illness. Certain coronaviruses can infect animals, which occasionally spread from animals to humans, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache


If you are a Fenway patient, please call us if you need help; only call 911 or EMS if you have:

Fevers over 102 degrees that don’t respond to over the counter fever reducers AND one of the following:

  • Worsening chest pain despite taking over the counter pain medication OR
  • Cough associated with bloody sputum OR
  • Worsening shortness of breath

    If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel if you have or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a face mask before emergency medical services arrive.

Older adults and people who have chronic medical conditions may be higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness and death.

Those potentially at increased risk include:

Click to read more from the US Centers for Disease Control.

Flu and COVID-19 symptoms are similar and both viruses cause respiratory illness.

Why it might be flu: Flu symptoms usually occur more suddenly. Most people with the flu recover in two weeks or less.

Why it might be COVID-19: You are more likely to have COVID-19 if you have respiratory symptoms (dry cough, shortness of breath) AND one of the following is true:

  • You recently traveled to a country (such as China, Iran, Italy, Japan, or South Korea) or an area in the U.S. with community spread of the COVID-19 virus
  • You have been in contact (or were coughed on by) someone who may have COVID-19
  • COVID-19 is known to be in your community

While there are a number of vaccines in various stages of development, none have yet been approved. However, you should make sure that you and your family’s vaccinations are up to date, including influenza and pneumonia vaccines to help reduce vaccine-preventable disease.

Fenway Health is now able to do COVID-19 testing using Quest PCR Test. This kind of test looks for a current, active infection with the COVID 19 virus.

We have partnered with the Boston Public Health Commission and Boston Public Schools to use the McKinley School parking lot behind our 1340 Boylston Street location as a COVID-19 testing site. We have set up a tent in the parking lot and are currently doing drive-through/walk-through/bike-through tests. Click here for more information.

You do NOT need to be a Fenway Health patient to get tested at our facility. If you would like to become a Fenway patient? You can become one by calling 617.927.6000.

To diagnose a potential COVID-19 case, healthcare professionals may run tests to rule out influenza and other common infections. Not all healthcare facilities are able to test for COVID-19 at this time. The test involves swabbing the nose and throat, taking saliva and mucus samples, and possibly drawing blood.

Looking for testing locations in Boston? The City of Boston has recently published a map of COVID-19 testing locations. Testing is free regardless of insurance or immigration status. Additionally, Gov. Baker recently announced an expansion of free testing sites. Click here to read more.

All sites require you to call ahead for pre-screening and to schedule an appointment. Hours vary between sites.

There are also many hospitals, clinics and drive thru sites across the state that are able to complete testing and all positive results are being reported to the Department of Public Health (DPH). You can find regularly updated information about those sites on Mass.gov.

Fenway Health is now able to do COVID-19 testing. We have partnered with the Boston Public Health Commission and Boston Public Schools to begin using the McKinley School parking lot behind our 1340 Boylston Street location as a COVID-19 testing site. We have set up a tent in the parking lot and are currently piloting drive-through and walk-through tests.Click here for more information. Click here for more information.

You do NOT need to be a Fenway Health patient to get tested at our facility. If you would like to become a Fenway patient? You can become one by calling 617.927.6000.

If you develop any of the following symptoms cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fever, chills, body aches, diarrhea, loss of smell or taste, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, stay home and call your healthcare provider. Older patients and individuals who have severe underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their healthcare provider early, even if their illness is mild. Seek care immediately if you have severe symptoms such as persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, or bluish lips or face. Your doctor will determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and whether you should be tested.

Fenway Health is offering testing to Fenway patients with COVID-19 symptoms and who meet certain criteria. Most people without COVID-19 symptoms should not get tested. If you meet any of the criteria listed here and are interested in getting tested, please call us at 617.927.6300 so that we can assist you with this process.

Accurate information about COVID and how to best screen for it is rapidly changing.

Although the Quest COVID IgG antibody test is available to Fenway Health, we still don’t know how to best interpret the results. We don’t yet have enough information to know how test results relate to a history of COVID infection, and results may not adequately indicate if you have been infected with COVID, just exposed to COVID, or if you are immune to COVID. Before we give advice on who should be tested, we need to learn more about who it is best for.

As a result, we are not recommending testing for most people. If you have questions, we are happy to schedule a telehealth visit to discuss if this testing is right for you. Please do keep in mind that guidance regarding testing is likely to change in the upcoming weeks and months. Please check our website for updates on testing.

Federal, state, and local governments are working to effectively control the COVID-19 outbreak throughout the U.S. The items listed below are specific to Massachusetts. Click here for COVID-19 state data and policy actions to address coronavirus from around the country.

  • Beginning on August 1, 2020 Gov. Charlie Baker’s travel order went into effect. The order requires that all visitors and Massachusetts residents returning to MA (including students returning to campuses for the fall semester) must fill out a “Massachusetts Travel Form” and quarantine for 14 days unless they are coming from a COVID-19 lower risk state or they can produce a negative COVID-19 test result administered no more than 72 hours prior to arriving in Massachusetts, or they are included in one of the other, limited exemptions. Click here to read more.
  • On July 31, 2020, The Baker-Polito Administration launched #MaskUpMA, an effort to continue to remind residents to wear masks and face-coverings in public to stop the spread of COVID-19. Click here to read more.

Fenway Health continues to focus our actions and planning on reducing the community spread of COVID-19, while delivering essential services, and protecting the health and safety of our patients and staff. We have taken steps to increase visits and services being provided via phone or video conference, minimize services and visits that are happening on-site, and re-deploying staff to off-site/work-at-home locations whenever possible. Click here to learn more.

We will continue to make adjustments as warranted in response to new developments and will update you through our website, through e-mail communication in our patient portal, and via our social media outlets.
  • Massachusetts joined Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York and other states across the country in enacting a State of Emergency in response to the spread of COVID-19
  • The designation allows more resources to be directed toward a response to this outbreak
  • Governor Baker recommends his staff limit work-related travel and large gatherings.
  • Fenway has already enacted travel restrictions for staff; canceled conferences, fund raisers, non-essential meetings and use of its space by community members; and transitioned to virtual meetings for all staff.
Expanded COVID-19 Testing: The state is continuing to expand COVID-19 testing, which along with social distancing, self-isolation, and quarantining is key to slowing the virus spread.

Health insurance carriers are required to provide medically necessary telehealth, testing, counseling, treatment, and vaccination (once it’s developed and available) services related to COVID-19 to all Massachusetts residents without charging copays, coinsurance, or deductibles.

You will not be turned away from the emergency room because of your immigration status. If you are undocumented and need healthcare visit the MA Connector website or call 1-800-841-2900 for English and Spanish service.

Nursing home and rehab facilities converted to COVID-19 hospitals: The state is working with the nursing home industry to move some residents out of occupied homes and rehab facilities and turn those locations into COVID-19-only care centers. Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center in Worcester is the first designated site. Patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and who are stable but need a nursing facility level of care will begin to be transferred from hospitals to Beaumont this week.
Lifeline Program: Subsidized Phone and Internet Service

In order to help those with limited phone and internet service access crucial medical care provided using telehealth communications during the COVID-19 crisis, federal and state government agencies have increased support for the Lifeline program—a free or low-cost telephone and internet services for those in need.

Eligibility
All MassHealth members are eligible to participate in the Lifeline program. You may also qualify if you receive certain state of federal benefits such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income, and more. You may also qualify if your household income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines.

Eligible Providers:
Assurance Wireless (partnership with Virgin Mobile), SafeLink Wireless (partnership with TracFone Wireless), and StandUp Wireless. Verizon is the home phone and broadband service provider for the state.

Department of Telecommunications and Cable’s Hotline
For assistance in applying or to get support with any challenges in the process call the Department of Telecommunications and Cable’s hotline at 800-392-6066, for assistance in applying or to get support with any challenges in the process.

Click here for the full report from MassHealth (from 4/2/2020).

Many cities and towns are continuing to provide free breakfast and lunch to students in their districts. Click on the city for schedules and locations: Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Lawrence, Lowell, Medford, Revere, and Somerville. Click here for more locations from Project Bread.

Recently, the Baker-Polito Administration announced nearly $3 million in grants to address urgent food insecurity for Massachusetts residents as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to read more.

Additionally, the administration announced $56 million in funding in May 2020 to combat urgent food insecurity for some Massachusetts families and individuals as a result of COVID-19. Click here to learn more.

Have you suffered a job loss due to COVID-19? Check out these SNAP eligibility guidelines (PDF).

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides food insecure people with benefits that allow them to purchase nutritious foods. Call Project Bread’s Free Food Source Hotline: 1-800-645-8333 to see if you qualify.

You may be eligible for unemployment benefits if you are out of work because you are quarantined, left work due to risk of exposure, or to care for a family member. Please visit the Unemployment Assistance website here.


Applying for unemployment benefits as a 1099 or contract worker: Under the federal CARES ACT, unemployment benefits will be available to self-employed workers, contract workers, and others who are paid using a 1099.

The Massachusetts RMV will implement a 60-day extension for Class D, Class DMs, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits with expired/expiring credentials dated between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020. This extension does not apply to immigrants whose license expiration date is their end of stay in the United States.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has suspended in-person services at its field offices, asylum offices and Application Support Centers (ASCs) until at least April 1. In the meantime, USCIS will provide limited emergency services. Click here for assistance accessing emergency services.

 

Many people may have difficulty coping with stress, anxiety, and addiction during times of stress. The outbreak of COVID-19 may be a stressful time for many adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

The following articles offer some suggestions to help manage COVID-19 associated stress.

Many Alcoholics Anonymous groups have moved to conducting online meetings to support those in recovery. Click here for a list of online AA meetings across the country.

Many Narcotics Anonymous groups have moved to conducting online meetings to support those in recovery. Click here for a list of online NA meetings from around the world.

Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) is a global community of mutual-support groups where participants help one another resolve problems with addiction to drugs and alcohol, or to activities such as gambling or over-eating. Click here to find a SMART meeting online.

Many of the classes that were previously offered in fitness facilities, yoga studios, or dojos are now being offered online. Take time to exercise at your favorite facility, or explore meditation and mindfulness. Check the resources below:
  • The American Meditation Institute which offers free Sunday morning meditations classes.
  • Sanvello: Clinically validated techniques for reducing stress and treating anxiety and depression (free premium access during COVID-19 pandemic).
  • Headspace: Two-week free trial for the general public. (Providers with a National Provider Identifier can sign up for free full access.)
  • Calm: Seven-day free trial. A meditation, sleep, and relaxation app that also provides resources specifically for coping with COVID-19 anxiety.
  • Stop, Breathe & Think: Always free, and for kids too.
  • Mindfulness Coach: Mindfulness Coach 2.0 was developed to help veterans, service members, and others learn how to practice mindfulness. The app provides a gradual, self-guided training program designed to help you understand and adopt a simple mindfulness practice.
  • PTSD Coach: Created by VA’s National Center for PTSD and the Department of Defense’s National Center for Telehealth & Technology. This app provides you with education about post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), information about professional care, a self-assessment for PTSD, opportunities to find support, and tools that can help you manage the stresses of daily life with PTSD.
  • PTSD Family Coach: In conjunction with PTSD Coach, the PTSD Family Coach app is for family members of those living with PTSD. The app provides extensive information about PTSD, how to take care of yourself, how to take care of your relationship with your loved one or with children, and how to help your loved one get the treatment they deserve.
Fenway Health’s Transgender Health Program offers gender-affirming, high quality, patient-centered care. This page includes dozens of resources for transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people.

The program is currently hosting regular Zoom support meetings for those in the trans and gender diverse communities whose gender-affirming surgeries have been canceled or postponed due to COVID-19. The first meeting of the group will take place virtually on Thursday 4/16 at 6PM. Contact Elly Humphrey at 617-927-6017 for more information.

Children and teens often take their cues from their parents and other adults around them. Parents and caregivers can help reassure and support their children and other young people by dealing with COVID-19 calmly and confidently.

The CDC offers the following signs to be aware of that your children are having difficulty managing the stress of the situation and some tips for helping them better cope.

Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include:

  • Excessive crying or irritation in younger children
  • Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting)
  • Excessive worry or sadness
  • Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
  • Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens
  • Poor school performance or avoiding school
  • Difficulty with attention and concentration
  • Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
  • Unexplained headaches or body pain
  • Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

There are many things you can do to support your child:

  • Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Answer questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that your child or teen can understand.
  • Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
  • Limit your family’s exposure to news coverage of the event, including social media. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
  • Try to keep up with regular routines. If schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
  • Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members.
The YMCA of Greater Boston is offering childcare for essential workers, including Fenway Health staff. They are currently still open at the following YMCA locations with differing availability depending on the site: These sites are currently scheduled to be open through May 1, but we are hopeful that this will be extended as a result of the Governor’s announcement. You can email emergencycare@ymcaboston.org to find out more and register.

The same recommendations for people at risk should be adhered to by everyone to help protect those who are more vulnerable, such as older adults and people with pre-existing medical conditions.

If you are a caregiver for someone in a long-term care facility, respect their visitation rules, ask about the health of the other residents, and know the plan if there is a COVID-19 outbreak.

If your loved ones live alone, check on them frequently and find out what services your local Area Agency on Aging offers.