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COVID Testing Options: Summer 2021

Testing for asymptomatic people (people who are not currently sick):

Testing for people with symptoms:

  • Medical Providers with onsite testing for their patients include CHFCFC, Baystate Medical Practices (at drive-through across the street from BFMC), Valley Medical Group (Mondays and Fridays 8-4 in Greenfield with an appointment).

At-home testing

**COVID-19 VACCINE – FRANKLIN COUNTY INFORMATION**

COVID-19 Vaccine in Franklin County

Franklin County Covid-19 vaccination information and Regional Collaborative Vaccine Clinic updates have moved to our new website at www.franklincountymavaccine.org 

Who’s Eligible?

See if you are eligible, https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine

Where to get vaccinated and how to find appointments

See comprehensive listing of Massachusetts vaccination sites with details on how to schedule appointments, https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/

Find County specific information at, www.franklincountymavaccine.org

Vaccine Information and Updates

These situation reports including key updates for the Franklin County vaccination effort are released each Friday afternoon and more often as needed.

Latest Franklin County Covid-19 Vaccine Situation Report, Friday March 19, 2021

State Vaccination Reports are released daily and weekly: MA daily and weekly vaccination reports.

FRCOG’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline

Regularly updated message about vaccine availability, call 413-774-3167 extension 153. Please share this number with anyone who prefers to receive information over the phone.

Resources for Seniors

For help scheduling an appointment, arranging transportation, or if you are a home-bound person, call LifePath at 413-829-9285.

People without access to the internet can get help scheduling an appointment at a state run vaccination site, call 2-1-1.

Additional Resources

COVID-19 Data and Updates

For an archive of all the emails sent by the state on re-opening, click here
For a Franklin County data dashboard from the Public Health Institute of Western MA, click here.
For the state’s COVID data page, click here.
For the latest situation reports from the MA COVID Command Center, click here.
For the COG’s COVID Municipal Resources Page click here.
For the COG’s Board of Health COVID Resources Page click here.
For local public health COVID case management contacts (public health nurses), click here. 
For the Region 1 Health and Medical Coordinating Coalition, click here.
For resources and guidance for businesses, organizations, entrepreneurs, and job seekers, click here.

Click here for testing resources

 

 

To read the FRCOG’s Municipal Leader COVID-19 updates:

COVID Winter Holiday Safety Tips

Documents:

Web Links:

New Face Covering Signs Available

These are available as posters for the front door of businesses, schools, houses of worship, town halls, etc.

We are ordering these to be large outdoor signs in mid November.

These are available as post-card size signs.

It’s getting colder and mask standards have changed, so we have updated our face covering signs. Call 413-774-3167 x 1 if you would like any of these signs for your town/business.  Our thanks to Kat Woods Design for the donation of graphic design of the “Help Keep Our Town Safe” signs, to the Brookline Health Department for the “Thank you for Wearing A Mask” sign, and to Katie’s Doodles for the “It goes over your nose” signs.

These are available as election style signs for outdoor use

These are available for the inside of offices/workplaces

These are large election-style outdoor signs

Halloween During COVID: Spooky and Safe!

In response to requests from town administrators and board of health members in a number of towns, the FRCOG has pulled together a Halloween COVID safety poster with tips for both trick-or-treaters and those they visit.

Communities can request hard copies (11×17) by calling 413-774-3167 extension 1 and leaving a message or download it here: FRCOG halloween safety tips poster

Helpful links:

https://www.mass.gov/news/halloween-during-covid-19

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween

How to make a candy chute for safe dispensing of candy.

 

tips for safe trick or treating and celebrating

Remote Learning Options and the Municipal Role in Approving Them

  • Gov. Baker’s COVID-19 Order #49 established expanded care options for the supervision of remote learning for school age children. The order allowed for the creation of “Remote Learning Enrichment Programs” (RLEPs) – and stipulated that these programs must be approved and monitored by municipalities in order for the MA Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) to grant a waiver allowing these programs to operate. We have received numerous questions about the responsibilities of the municipalities with regards to approving and monitoring RLEPs, and have compiled the following guidance from EEC:
    • A brief summary of the 3 ways communities can support remote learning (expanded access to existing EEC licensed programs; new Remote Learning Enrichment Programs Exemption; and Remote Learning Parent Cooperatives) can be found by clicking here.
    • The Commonwealth is allowing many of the programs already licensed to care for children (e.g. daycares and after school programs) to provide expanded care during the school day, to assist with supervising remote learning. A brief summary of guidance for currently licensed EEC providers can be found by clicking here.
    • For municipalities which are themselves organizing RLEPs, or have community groups doing so, an overview of the Remote Learning Enrichment Programs Exemption, with links to the various processes in setting up an RLEP and the municipal paperwork involved can be found by clicking here (and scrolling down to the RLEP section).
      • The most extensive and detailed information from EEC about the role of a Municipal Approving Authority, outlining the steps a city or town must take to grant approval to a RLEP can be found here at this link.
    • Detailed health and safety guidance from EEC for child care providers can be found here.
    • Once a municipality has approved a RLEP, that program can then apply to EEC for a waiver. We have heard that turnaround time is fairly quick once municipal approval has been granted.
    • Finally, specific questions can be directed to EEC by emailing: EECExemptions@mass.gov

West Nile Virus and EEE are back! Prevent Mosquito Bites!

Mosquitoes can spread diseases that make you sick. In Massachusetts, mosquitoes can give you eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus or West Nile virus (WNV). EEE can cause severe illness and possibly lead to death in any age group. EEE does not occur every year, but based on mosquito sampling, a high risk of occurrence of human cases currently exists.

Outbreaks of EEE usually occur in Massachusetts every 10-20 years. These outbreaks will typically last two to three years. The most recent outbreak of EEE in Massachusetts began in 2019 and included twelve cases with six fatalities. The first EEE positive mosquito sample within the State this season was detected in Orange on 7/2/20 and Wendell 7/6/20. Risk levels remain elevated through to frost.

The best way to avoid both of these illnesses is to prevent mosquito bites.

You can be bitten at any time. Most mosquitoes are active from just before dusk, through the night until dawn.

There are steps that you can take to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites, and the illnesses they can cause.

Protect yourself from illness by doing simple things:

  • Use insect repellents any time you are outdoors
  • Wear long-sleeved clothing
  • Schedule outdoor activities to avoid the hours from dusk to dawn during peak mosquito season
  • Repair damaged window and door screens
  • Remove standing water from the areas around your home

See a video from DPH on EEE here: https://youtu.be/VekccoVW6aQ

For more information, including current maps of risk levels and findings of EEE and WNV in Massachusetts see https://www.mass.gov/mosquitoes-and-ticks or contact Regional Public Health Nurse Lisa White for more information at 413-665-1400 x 114.