Fall and winter readiness
On October 13, the Baker-Polito Administration announced COVID-19 measures in place to ensure readiness for fall and winter, including testing, contact tracing, hospital readiness, long term care facility readiness, PPE stockpile, and K-12 guidance. Read more in the press release.
Preparing for a COVID-19 vaccine
In anticipation of the approval of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, Massachusetts established an active inter-agency COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group in October 2020 to develop plans ensuring an equitable and speedy distribution to Massachusetts communities. Distribution of vaccine in Massachusetts commenced in December 2020 and is ongoing at this time. To learn more about the latest vaccine updates in MA, including the vaccine prioritization plan, frequently asked questions, and information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), view COVID-19 Vaccine in Massachusetts.
Infectious Disease Emergency Response (IDER) Plan
The Massachusetts DPH Infectious Disease Emergency Response (IDER) Plan PDF | Doc describes the department’s operations for an infectious disease emergency response, outlines department roles and responsibilities, and details the procedures and the coordination among and across responding agencies to ensure an effective operation. The IDER Plan establishes the framework for incident recognition and the activation and coordination of DPH and partner agency actions in response to infectious disease incidents having public health implications. The plan also describes the activities to ensure coordination, effective communication, and ongoing planning.
Additional preparedness steps taken by DPH
- Created an Incident Command Structure to include briefings with state health leadership to facilitate information sharing, decision-making, and responses during a potential outbreak.
- Standing up regional isolation and recovery sites located in hotels across the state.
- Keeping public health partners including local boards of health, school health personnel, Emergency Medical Services, college and university health systems, and health emergency preparedness teams informed with the latest federal guidance.
- Continually monitoring impacts to the supply chain of personal protective equipment such as gloves, face masks, and other equipment within the US and providing hospitals and health systems with strategies to optimize these supplies.
- Continuing efforts by the State Public Health Laboratory staff and epidemiologic staff to perform surveillance of cases and contacts and respond to questions from clinicians, health departments, and the public 24/7.
- The state public health lab received federal approval on Friday, February 28, 2020 to perform diagnostic testing for the virus. Read more about testing.
Preparedness resources for the public
- Visit mass.gov/BePrepared to learn about public health preparedness and contingency planning for you and your family.
- Resources for managing stress, anxiety, or other strong emotions:
- Many services for people struggling with issues related to sexual and domestic violence are available remotely during this COVID-19 public health emergency. Visit the Domestic Violence Program and the Sexual Assault Prevention and Survivor Services page for more information.
- Learn the facts about COVID-19 and help stop the spread of misinformation: Share the Facts, Stop Fear.
- Prepare your family in case COVID-19 spreads in your community: How to Prepare
- Samaritans is continuing operations 24/7, as always. During this unprecedented time, it can feel overwhelming to receive constant messages about COVID-19. Call or text their 24/7 helpline any time at 877-870-4673.
- The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster, including disease outbreaks like COVID-19. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories.