On May 18, 2020, the Department of Public Health issued a new “Safer At Home” Advisory, which instructs residents to stay at home unless they are planning to visit newly opened businesses, as a way to continue limiting the spread of the virus. All residents must continue to wear a face covering in public when social distancing is not possible, and individuals should wash their hands frequently and be vigilant in monitoring for symptoms. Restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 people remain in effect. Learn more: mass.gov/saferathome.
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health COVID-19 Prevention & Treatment
- Emergency Order prohibiting most gatherings of over 10 people
- DPH Guidance on Emergency Order
Wearing Cloth Masks in Public
On April 3, 2020, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a recommendation about wearing cloth face coverings in public settings. This recommendation was made after considering recent studies that have shown individuals with the virus who lack symptoms can transmit the virus to others. CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings including places where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (such as grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community based transmission.
On April 10, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) issued a Public Health Advisory that, consistent with CDC guidance, recommends that people wear a mask or cover their face in public when they cannot safely socially distance. For example, members of the public will be advised to wear something to cover their face in public places like supermarkets and pharmacies.
It is critical to emphasize that the mask recommendation does not replace social distancing, stay at home measures, and hand washing recommendations that remain in effect. Social distancing, staying at home except for essential travel, and hand hygiene remain vitally important to slowing the spread of the virus.
- CDC’s full recommendation on masks
- U.S. Surgeon General’s video on how to make a homemade mask
- DPH Advisory Regarding Face Coverings and Cloth Masks
How to Know if You Should Get Tested for COVID-19
COVID-19 testing is widely available in Massachusetts. You should get a test if:
- You develop any symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild
- Or you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
Check Your Symptoms with the Buoy Health Tool
The Baker-Polito Administration announced the launch of Buoy Health’s new online resource for residents to check their symptoms and connect with the next appropriate health care resource. This tool does not replace emergency medical care, but it may be used as a support for residents during the COVID-19 outbreak to connect them with appropriate health care resources if they display coronavirus symptoms.Buoy Health’s online 24/7 tool is free for Massachusetts residents and uses current COVID-19 guidance from the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Visit Buoy.com/mass to learn more and use the tool.
Mental Health & Well-Being
Taking care of your emotional health and well-being during this time is important. Decreasing stress can help bolster your immune system and can help keep you and others around you healthy. Click here for a list of resources and tips for staying emotionally healthy and well.
Contact your behavioral health provider to see if they can schedule a telehealth visit. Telehealth is a virtual therapy session. Many providers are now offering this option.
If you need to talk to someone, text the National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI) to 741741 or call the NAMI Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).For tips for people with mental illness, visit this website. NAMI has also issued a helpful FAQ that includes information and resources for those who may be struggling to cope with the impacts of COVID-19. Review the FAQ here
If you are a first responder, comprehensive, confidential mental health peer support is available for those who may be experiencing grief or trauma during the COVID-19 pandemic through the Massachusetts State Peer Support Network. Learn more.
In addition, please visit the Managing Isolation and Loneliness during COVID-19 resource page on the mass.gov website for information on how to maintain your mental health during this stressful time.
- Maintaining Emotional Health & Well-Being During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- CDC COVID-19 Stress & Coping Guide
- Crisis Text Line (or Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor)
Substance Use Disorder & Recovery Resources
This is an unsettling time for those working to address opioid and substance misuse and for those in treatment or recovery from substance and opioid use disorders.
Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Resources
If you or someone you know does not feel safe at home, please call 1-800-799-7233 for live support. If you are unable to speak safely, you can chat online at thehotline.org, or text LOVEIS to 22522.
- Statewide Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Resources
- Resources for Domestic and Sexual Violence
- Jane Doe Inc., The Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence (JDI)
- Casa Myrna SafeLink Hotline – call 877-785-2020, SafeLink TTY number: 877-521-2601
Call2Talk, a mental health, emotional support, and suicide prevention program run by Mass211. It operates 24/7 and provides confidential, compassionate listening to assist people – including those who may be despondent or considering suicide – during stressful times. Call2Talk is a National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Crisis Center and partners with Crisis Text Line to respond to people by text. To get help or access local resources, text C2T to 741741 or call 211. Learn more
Crisis Text Line, a nationwide service. Text from anywhere in the USA to text with a trained Crisis Counselor. Text TALK to 741741. Learn more
Samaritans know that during this unprecedented time, it can feel overwhelming to receive constant messages about COVID-19. Please know that we are here for you. Call or text our 24/7 helpline any time at 877-870-4673. Learn more
National Parent Helpline. Call 800-4A-PARENT to talk to an operator or go to the website for a roundup of resources including health and mental health, personal safety, parenting, child development. Learn more
LGBTQ Parent & Caregiver Helpline, from Greater Boston PFLAG. Call 866-427-3524. Learn more
Parental Stress Line, from Parents Helping Parents. Trained volunteer counselors offer non-judgemental ways to relieve stress relating to their children and parenting. Multiple languages spoken. Call 800-632-8188. Learn more
Veteran’s Crisis Line, from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Call 800-273-8255. Learn more
William James Interface Referral Service, a mental health and wellness referral Helpline. This is a free, confidential referral service for individuals across the lifespan living in Lexington. Contact: 888-244-6843 (toll free) available Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm. Learn more
- Network of Care Massachusetts
- Strategies to Promote Mental Health
- Talking to Kids About COVID-19: A Parent Resource
- Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty
- Preventing Stigma Related to COVID
- Manage Anxiety and Stress
- Coping with Fear and Uncertainty
- Help Pro – Therapy Resource Finder
- Social Work / Therapy Referral Service
- Burlington Public Schools – Social Emotional Resources & Hotlines
- Arlington Public Schools Mental Health and Wellbeing
- Advocates Psychiatric Emergency Services
- Arlington COVID-19 Mental Health & Well Being Resources
- Community Partnerships For Mental Health Support
Wellness & Activities
- The Arlington Center offers virtual yoga sessions. Learn more
- Arlington Center for the Arts has fun and creative ideas to keep you safe and connected, while beating those social distancing blues. Learn more
- The Children’s Theater offers online workshops. Learn more
- Arlington Community Education is compiling a list of no-cost resources provided by instructors to keep students engaged and learning. Learn more
- Robbins Library Virtual Story Time, Robbins and Fox librarians will offer online story time on Facebook Live on Fridays at 10:00 a.m. while the library is closed. Learn more
- Arlington Patch Small Business Open or Closed List. Learn more.
- Arlington Public Schools Enrichment Activities. Learn more.
- Billerica Public Library has library resources and services during closing, including remote story time. Learn more
- Burlington Public Library has a Stay At Home Library that will keep you amused and informed. Learn more
- Burlington Small Business Open or Closed List. Learn more.
- Lexington Community Center is offering lots of fun virtual activities for adults and kids. Learn more
- Lexington Community Coalition offers resources and reflections for the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more
- Cary Library provides a list of resources for educational and physical activities for kids. Learn more
- Lexington Human Services Department has a COVID-19 Community Resources List. Learn more
- What to Do While You’re Home. Learn more
- Woburn Public Schools Extended Learning has suggested activities and resources to continue learning at home. Learn more
- Woburn Public Library provides resources including educational and artistic activities, as well as financial and good assistance information. Learn more
- Social Capital, Inc. strengthens communities by connecting diverse individuals and organization through civic engagement initiatives. Learn more
- Woburn Small Business Open or Closed List. Learn more.
- Boys and Girls Club of Woburn Virtual Clubhouse. Learn more.
- YMCA of Greater Boston, family resources including virtual activities and extended learning. Learn more
- YMCA 360: ON-DEMAND VIDEOS, find your favorite Y classes for all ages, wherever you are. Learn more
- YMCA of Cambridge is providing virtual workout options and virtual resources for parents.
- Scholastic Learn At Home from Scholastic. Twenty days’ worth of free learning journeys that span the content areas. Learn more
- Jumpstart: Free online resources for grades K-5 that includes activities in math, social studies, science, and more. Learn more
- Amazing Educational Resources for Kids, from Amazing Educational Resources Facebook group. A compilation of websites offering free online games, activities, teaching, and tech tools for kids. Learn more
- 150+ Enrichment Activities for Children While Parents are Working Remotely, from Freelance Artists Resources. Creative activities, indoors and outdoors. Learn more
- Just for Kids – A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus, from NPR. Learn more
- How to Survive Being Quarantined with Your Kids, from Mindful Mama. Strategies for adults and kids. Learn more
- Distance Learning Center, from WGBH. Digital resources from PBS LearningMedia for grades PreK-12, which are aligned to national and state standards, and include videos, comprehensive lessons, and other activities. Learn more
- Resources for Parents and Kids Cooped Up at Home, compiled by How to be Human. Organized by academic subject and age. Learn more
Mutual Aid Groups
- Mutual Aid Arlington is here to connect neighbors with the many volunteer groups in Arlington, MA while we are sheltering at home. Here you’ll find links to all of the organized volunteer groups, key resources like what stores are open or delivering, and ideas for keeping families and kids active and happy! Learn more
- Arlington, MA COVID-19 Community Support. Learn more
- Arlington Helps. Learn more.
- Burlington’s People Helping People is a non-profit, primarily volunteer-driven emergency assistance organization comprised of The Burlington Food Pantry, The Covenant for Basic Needs, and The Holiday Wish Tree. The Food Pantry alone serves over 130 needy families per month. Donations are always welcome. Learn more.
- Burlington Womenade : Let Us Know What You Need
- The Town of Lexington has its own COVID-19 Info Line that is available from Monday-Friday 8:30 to 4:00 p.m. Please call 781-698-4780.
- The Lexington Human Services Department is also available for services for seniors (meals on wheels), veterans, family services, and counseling (please call 781- 698-4840 to make an appointment).
- Help Around Town connects jobs and helpers available for tasks related to COVID-19. Paid or volunteer. Learn more.Contact Help Around Town
- Neighbor Brigade mobilizes fully vetted volunteers to help residents facing sudden crisis. Volunteers provide non-medical, non-monetary services. Offering the following services: grocery store runs; Pharmacy runs to pick up and deliver medication; Meal delivery from local restaurants or commercial kitchens. Contact Neighbor Bridge here or 855-241-HELP. Learn more
- Chinese American Association of Lexington (CAAL)launched a portal for those in need of assistance as well as those looking to volunteer. Volunteers are able to assist with food shopping and meal delivery for those who are in isolation or quarantine and/or unable to obtain groceries/meals. CAAL also has surgical masks (not N95) available if you have an urgent need. Use the contact info above to request them. These masks and/or funds to purchase them were donated by generous Lexington residents. Sign up here or email Weidong Wang at firstname.lastname@example.org or Hua Wang at email@example.com or call 339-970-8550.
- Chinese Americans of Lexington (CALex)has a volunteer team with over 80 parents. If people need help, please reach out to us. Local restaurant gift cards are available to those in need. Special thanks to Chinese Americans of Lexington (CALex) for donating these. Contact Human Services for more information at 781-698-4840. Contact CALex here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Woburn Mutual Aid Network (WMAN) is here to help! Call or text our hotline at 339-298-8153 or 781-935-2244 ext 1. Email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more
- If you or someone you know needs assistance or you would like to join efforts to assist each other during these unprecedented times please reach out to the Woburn Mutual Aid Network. More information can be found here