All of us at Fenway Health believe that the current protests against the scourge of white supremacy and racism in the U.S. and in support of racial equity and social justice are part of an urgent and essential movement. We support you and we stand with you.
As members of our community take to the streets, Fenway Health is working to ensure that our patients, supporters, and staff stay safe in the time of COVID-19, which poses a continuing threat to the health and well-being of our communities. Individuals who are participating in protests and related large public gatherings may have a heightened concern that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. In recognition of these concerns, Fenway Health is offering free COVID-19 testing to asymptomatic patients and staff on the basis of potential high-risk exposures—including attendance at protests and other large gatherings. Please call our medical appointment line at 617.927.6000 to schedule a telehealth evaluation and free COVID-19 testing appointment at Fenway Health.
We also want to encourage you to consider the following precautions if you take part in protests, vigils, and other large gatherings:
- COVID-19 can easily spread through shouting, singing, sneezing, or coughing. Please wear a mask or face covering that covers both your nose and mouth. Eye coverings such as glasses, goggles, or face shields can also be helpful.
- Consider wearing shatterproof goggles and carrying saline if there is concern for exposure to pepper spray, as soothing your eyes with saline can reduce coughing/sneezing.
- If you can, try to gather outside and in more open spaces.
- When possible, protest in smaller groups that stay together and minimize intermixing with many other people throughout an event.
- Use hand sanitizer frequently.
- Upon returning home, shower immediately and launder any clothing worn during protests.
- For 14 days after your exposure, please perform self-monitoring: check for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other COVID-19 symptoms. Seek medical attention if you develop symptoms.
- We encourage everyone to remember the basics, no matter where you are:
- Remain six feet away from people
- Wear a face mask
- Don’t touch your face
- Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer frequently
- Wipe down high-touch areas frequently with disinfectant
- Seek medical attention if you develop symptoms
Again, we offer this to support staff and patients who wish to participate in these important civil rights demonstrations and to encourage ongoing vigilance regarding COVID-19’s persistence and disproportionate impact on people of color. Preventing COVID-19 infections is both a public health and a social justice issue.
The Fenway Health Team