The following information was provided by Congresswoman Katherine Clark’s office:
Mental Health Resources
In addition to the physical risks associated with COVID-19, the stress of losing your job or income, being separated from your loved ones, or not having access to basic family support like child care can also be detrimental to your health. Many of our friends, family, and neighbors are struggling to cope with these new challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is important that all of us receive the love and support we need to get through these hardships.
- If you need to speak with a crisis counselor immediately, you can call the Massachusetts Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990.
- The CDC has issued guidelines for coping with a disaster or traumatic event, as well as guidelines for helping children cope with emergencies.
- For seniors and other at-risk populations who have had to dramatically limit their interactions with others to avoid the spread of COVID-19, the AARP has provided a list of suggestions on how to fight social isolation.
- For resources on how to proactively monitor your behavioral health and avoid being overwhelmed by stress or anxiety caused by COVID-19, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has provided a list of useful tips for you to follow.
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline also provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, as well as prevention and crisis resources. If you or someone you know needs help, please call: 1-800-273-8255.
You’ve likely already heard about many of these preventative measures, but it is important that they be reiterated and regularly practiced as good hygiene and social distancing are the most effective ways of stopping the spread of this virus.
- The CDC recommends using cloth face coverings while outside to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Click here for more information about the CDC’s guidance on cloth face coverings.
- Wash your hands frequently with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds, especially when you come in from outside.
- While you can use hand sanitizer, washing your hands is more effective and should be your first option when available. If you are using hand sanitizer, make sure it has at least 60% alcohol content and that you use enough to wet both of your hands completely and that you rub it in until your hands are dry.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
- Frequently clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched by others.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home.
- If you can, keep an extra supply of prescription medicines available.
- Click here for additional recommendations from the CDC about how best to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
What to Do if You Get Sick
The CDC lists fever, coughing, and shortness of breath as symptoms of COVID-19. These symptoms may develop within 2 to 14 days after coming into contact with the virus. If you are symptomatic but unsure if you have COVID-19, the state of Massachusetts has partnered with Buoy Health to develop a COVID-19 Symptom Tracker to help you determine your risk for coronavirus and whether you should get tested or seek medical attention.
If you are sick, please follow these steps to help prevent the potential spread of COVID-19:
- Stay home except to get medical care: Most people who contract COVID-19 have mild symptoms and are able to recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home if sick except to seek treatment should your symptoms worsen, in which case you should first consult a health care professional. Avoid using public transportation.
- Stay away from others: Self-isolate in a specific room in your home as much as you can and, if possible, use a separate bathroom from those you share your home with.
- Call ahead before visiting a health care professional: Many medical visits for routine care are being postponed or carried out by phone. If you cannot postpone an appointment, call your doctor’s office and tell them you have or may have COVID-19 so they can protect themselves and other patients when you arrive for treatment.
- Monitor your symptoms: Follow your health care provider’s instructions and update them should your symptoms worsen. You should be prepared to seek immediate medical attention if you begin to exhibit emergency warning signs like an increased struggle to breathe, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, and bluish lips or face.
Who to Call if you Need Help or Additional Information
To access the National COVID-19 Hotline, call 2-1-1.
Additionally, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has set up a 24-hour Emergency Hotline for you to call should you have any questions or concerns. The Hotline number is (617) 983-6800.
The State of Massachusetts has also launched a COVID-19 text message-based notification system that will provide you with important updates as the public health situation continues to change. You can opt-in to receive these updates by texting “COVIDMA” to 888-777.
If you or your company has personal protective equipment (PPE) like medical grade facemasks, the State of Massachusetts has also launched a new online portal for you to donate or sell your PPE to help the state’s response efforts.