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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources

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COVID-19 vaccinations are open to everyone in Massachusetts 6 months of age and older. Learn more

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COVID-19 Cases in Somerville

19,335

Total Confirmed Positive

1741

Total Probable Positive

103

Confirmed Fatalities *

Please note: Data reflects only cases reported as of 8/5/22 at 9:30 a.m. and is generally only updated on Tuesdays, but updates may be made more frequently when COVID spread is high(Learn More)

* See note on dashboard.

Somerville Economic Indicators Dashboard

What is COVID-19?

The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a new virus that emerged in 2019. While some cases can be mild, some persons may develop more serious complications, and in some cases the virus can be fatal. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) strongly advises that community members prepare and take preventive steps. Please read through these pages for information and guidance. The City is working in coordination with MA Department of Public Health (DPH) and other State, regional, and community partners on a rapidly evolving response.

People with COVID-19 can experience a wide range of symptoms, and some don’t experience any symptoms at all. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Monitor yourself for these symptoms or check them  using an online tool:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms and may evolve. Please seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing these emergency warning signs:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or difficulty waking
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds

Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility if you have a medical emergency. Notify the operator that you may have COVID-19. If possible, put on a mask before medical help arrives.

The CDC warns that the risk of developing severe illness or complications from COVID-19 is higher for persons who are not vaccinated against COVID-19. Risk is also higher for persons with certain medical conditions and risk for adults also increases with age. We should all take precautions to limit the spread in order to protect ourselves and those most vulnerable to complications.

Certain Medical Conditions

The CDC maintains and has continued to update the list of certain medical conditions that have been identified as increasing the risk of severe COVID-19. They include but are not limited to the alphabetical list of conditions below. Please review the CDC list for detailed information:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic lung diseases
  • Dementia and neurological conditions
  • Diabetes (1 or 2)
  • Down syndrome
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • HIV infection
  • Immune deficiency, or persons taking medications that suppress immune function
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Smoking (current or former)
  • Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant
  • Stroke or cerebrovascular disease
  • Substance use disorders (such as alcohol, opioid, or cocaine use disorder)

The CDC offers guidance for higher risk populations including:

  • Get vaccinated against COVID-19
  • Confer with your medical provider to determine if you are eligible and recommended to receive a third MRNA vaccine dose or a vaccine booster shot
  • Stock up on supplies
  • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others
  • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact, and wash your hands often.
  • Wear a mask or face covering when you are in public. 
  • Avoid crowds as much as possible
  • Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel

During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible.

The CDC states that COVID-19 may be spread by infected persons with or without visible symptoms of the disease. The virus spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. In some circumstances, droplets may contaminate surfaces that persons touch. People who are closer than 6 feet from the infected person are most likely to get infected.

COVID-19 spreads mainly in the following three ways:

  • Breathing in air when close to an infected person who is exhaling small droplets and particles that contain the virus.
  • Having these small droplets and particles that contain virus land on the eyes, nose, or mouth, especially through splashes and sprays like a cough or sneeze.
  • Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have the virus on them.

Maintaining good social distance (about 6 feet), wearing a face-covering when indoors in public, and increasing ventilation in indoor spaces is very important in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

  • Bookmark the City’s coronavirus webpage for local updates: somervillema.gov/COVID.
  • Sign up for City alerts or check your subscription to be sure you are signed up to receive alerts via every method you can receive: phone, email, texts. Call 311 if you need assistance subscribing. 
  • Check for updates from Somerville Public Schools as appropriate.
  • Sign up for real-time text updates about COVID-19 in Massachusetts: Text the keyword COVIDMA to 888-777. State and public health officials will send short messages and links to information directly to your mobile device. Users can subscribe to the Spanish-language service by texting COVIDMAESP to 888-777.
  • Check reliable news sources frequently. See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Massachusetts Department of Public Health, or other official government sites for updates. It’s important to get information from official websites to help stop rumors and misinformation from spreading and potentially putting yourself and others at risk.

Protect Yourself & Others

Stay Healthy & Stay Alert

Here are the best steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your community:

  • Get vaccinated and boosted. Vaccination is the best defense against COVID-19, and a booster shot will help you maintain a high level of protection. Anyone 5 or older can get a free vaccine, regardless of health insurance or immigration status. 
  • Wear a mask. Wear a mask in public, even if you are vaccinated, to protect yourself and people around you. Choose a higher-grade mask if possible, like a KN95 or KF94, or layer two masks. 
  • Stay home when sick. Avoid contact with others, even if even if you're experiencing only mild symptoms. 
  • Get tested. Get tested if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, if you were recently exposed to someone who has symptoms, and before and after you travel or attend a gathering. 

The CDC also recommends taking these precautions:

  • Practice social distancing. Stay at least 6 feet away from others, especially if you're at high risk for severe illness. 
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Clean your hands often. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your mask, a tissue, or the crook of your elbow. Immediately put on a clean mask or throw out the tissue and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly. 
  • Monitor your health daily and stay alert for symptoms.

Under the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law, most employees in the state have the right to earn and use up to 40 hours of job-protected sick leave per year to take care of themselves and certain family members. Click here for more information about employee rights and employer obligations in Massachusetts during this pandemic.

Know your rights as an employee during COVID-19. If you have a concern about the safety of your workplace during COVID-19, you can file a complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office online. Your complaint may concern issues such as:

  • Cleaning/disinfection
  • Hygiene
  • Failure to display Compliance Attestation poster
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Requiring symptomatic employees to work
  • Retaliation
  • Social distancing

The Attorney General’s Office has also published Frequently Asked Questions in multiple languages regarding the rights of workers and employers during COVID-19.

 

Social Distancing

  • Social distancing should be practiced by everyone in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. This means limiting the interactions you have with others outside of your household. Avoid gatherings and keep 6 feet between you and others when possible.
  • Quarantines are for people or groups who are thought to have been exposed to the coronavirus. Quarantines during this pandemic last at least 14 days because symptoms of infection typically begin two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
  • Isolation is for people who have been infected by the virus. The goal of isolation is to keep infected people away from healthy people to help slow the spread.

Rules for travel can change rapidly. Refer to the latest guidance from the CDC, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and your destination before traveling.

 

Masks & Face Coverings

  • The citywide indoor mask mandate ended March 5, consistent with the latest CDC guidance. Privately owned indoor spaces like restaurants, gyms, and stores can set thier own mask policies. 
  • Starting March 14, masks will be optional in Somerville Public Schools. 
  • Starting March 21, masks will be optional in City of Somerville buildings and at City events. 
  • Across Massachusetts, masks are required on public and private transportation, in healthcare and congregate care facilities, and other settings. 
  • Wear a higher-grade mask if possible, such as a KN95 or KF94. Alternatively, layering a cloth mask over a disposable mask can improve the fit and add protection.
  • Remember: To effectively protect yourself and others, choose a mask that: 
    • Completely covers your mouth and nose
    • Fits snugly against the sides of your face without gaps
    • Has two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric
    • Has a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask

Learn more about masks from the CDC

In addition to vaccinations, boosters, and testing, wearing a mask properly over your nose and mouth can protect yourself and people around you. If you are infected with the coronavirus and don't know it, a mask can prevent your respiratory droplets and particles from infecting others. Wearing a mask can also help prevent germs that come from another person's respiratory droplets from getting into your nose and mouth.

If possible, wear a higher-grade mask, such as a KN95 or KF94. Alternatively, layering a cloth mask over a disposable mask can improve the fit and add protection. To effectively protect yourself and others, choose a mask that: 

  • Completely covers your mouth and nose
  • Fits snugly against the sides of your face without gaps
  • Has two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric
  • Has a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask

Learn more about masks from the CDC

 

Mental Health & Wellbeing

Visit our Mental Health and Wellbeing page for information about:

  • How to access mental health services or helplines from home
  • How to manage your stress about COVID-19
  • What you should do if you feel unsafe in your home
  • How to access recovery services
  • And more

Guidance and Resources for...

The Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has provided a COVID-19 communications cardto help hard of hearing and Deaf individuals and patients communicate with hospital staff, medical personnel, first responders, and service providers.

Older people (age 65 and up), people who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility, and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness. The CDC advises that it is “extra important” that persons with higher risk take action to help prevent exposure to the virus, and that all of us take actions to limit the spread in order to protect ourselves and those most vulnerable to complications.

The underlying conditions identified as increasing risk include but are not limited to:

  • Heart, kidney, or liver disease
  • Lung disease
  • Moderate to severe asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Immune deficiency, or persons taking medications that suppress immune function
  • High blood pressure
  • Severe obesity

For more information, see the CDC’s guidance on People Who Are at Higher Risk for Severe Illness.

The CDC offers guidance for higher risk populations including:

  • Stay home if possible.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others (stay 6 feet away, which is about two arm lengths).
  • Keep away from people who are sick.
  • Stock up on supplies.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched services.
  • Avoid all cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
  • Call your healthcare professional if you have concerns about COVID-19 and your underlying condition or if you are sick.

Vaccines & Testing

COVID-19 Vaccine Information: Visit SomervilleMA.gov/CovidVaccine

 

COVID-19 Testing

  • Check for Emergency Warning Signs: Anyone who has emergency warning signs of COVID-19, including trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face should seek medical attention immediately. Call 911 and notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives. 
  • Contact your medical provider: Persons experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, or other symptoms should contact their medical provider to discuss testing and treatment options.
  • Check your symptoms online: If you think you might have COVID-19, you can check your symptoms for free online at www.Buoy.com/mass.  This website, created by a partnership between the state and Buoy Health, will connect you with the appropriate health care resource based on your symptoms and risk factors for COVID-19. This tool does not replace emergency medical care, but it may be used as a support for Massachusetts residents during the COVID-19 outbreak to connect them with appropriate health care resources if they display coronavirus symptoms.
  • Isolate safely: Persons experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, or other symptoms should contact their medical provider and follow these CDC guidelines
    • Stay at home except to get medical care
    • Separate yourself from other people and pets in your home
    • Monitor your symptoms. Seek immediate medical help if you have trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face. 
    • Call ahead before attending medical appointments to let them know that you may have COVID-19. 
    • Wear a face covering if you are around other people or pets, even at home 
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes
    • Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds
    • Avoid sharing personal household items like dishes, cups, utensils, towels, and bedding
    • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces in your home every day.
  • Get Tested: COVID-19 tests are available to all Somerville residents for free, regardless of health insurance or immigration status. You do not need to be symptomatic to receive a test. To schedule an appointment, see “Where can I get tested for COVID-19” below.

You should get a test for COVID-19 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

Consider using a self-test before joining indoor gatherings with others who are not in your household. Testing may also be advised if you are not fully vaccinated and have recently traveled out of Massachusetts. 

Read more from the CDC or call 2-1-1.

 

COVID-19 Testing


Where to Get At-Home Tests

You can get tested for COVID-19 from the comfort of your home. Both molecular (such as PCR) and antigen at-home tests are available.

Purchase an at-home test kit:

  • Self-tests can be purchased online or in pharmacies and retail stores. Kits may be available for free or at a reduced cost through your health insurance.. Contact your health insurance company to verify their policy. Look for test kits that are currently approved by the FDA:
  • Starting January 15, if you have health insurance, your provider is required to cover the costs of eight at-home antigen tests per person each month, at up to $12 per test. Find out from your insurance company if it will offer direct coverage or whether you will need to submit a claim for reimbursement. Learn more from these FAQs.   

Request an at-home test kit:

  • PCR COVID-19 Tests provided by the State: Eligible people in Massachusetts can also have an at-home PCR test sent to them for free. These tests are available to people who have symptoms of COVID-19, have been exposed to COVID-19, have been advised to get tested by a health professional, or who live or work in a congregate setting. Request a free, at-home PCR test here. If you need assistance requesting a kit, please contact 3-1-1 (617-666-3311).
  • Free Rapid At-Home Tests provided by the U.S. Federal Government: All households in the U.S. can request up to eight free COVID-19 rapid at-home test kits from the Federal Government. The kits will be mailed to your address via USPS at no charge to you. You can order the kits at covidtests.gov.

Where to Get In-Person Testing

Somerville City Hall Annex, 50 Evergreen Ave.

Walk-ins accepted as supply allows.

  • PCR testing is available for Somerville residents who are symptomatic or have a known exposure to COVID-19, regardless of insurance or immigration status. 
  • Free for Somerville residents, regardless of health insurance or immigration status.
  • Residents seeking a test for travel or reasons other than suspected infection or known exposure should visit an alternative location.
  • Testing is available by appointment on Tuesday, 2-4 p.m., and Thursdays 4-6 p.m. Make an appointment here or call 311 (617-666-3311) for assistance in any language. Walk-ins accepted as supply allows.
  • Appointment scheduling closes 2 hours prior to the start of the clinic.
  • Test results are provided via e-mail within 24 to 48 hours

Nearby “Stop the Spread” Sites


Please contact a site before visiting in case operations have changed.

Cataldo Ambulance - Rivergreen Park, 1 Rivergreen Drive, Everett

  • Free for all people, regardless of insurance or immigration status 
  • No appointment necessary
  • 7:00am-7:00pm Mon-Fri
  • 12:00pm-6:00pm Sat

East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, 79 Paris St, Boston

  • Free for all people, regardless of insurance or immigration status. 
  • Make an appointment by calling 617-568-4500 or online
  • This site is accessible via the Maverick MBTA on the Blue Line 
  • 8:30am-11:30am & 1:00pm-4:30pm Mon-Fri

Other COVID-19 Testing Sites 


Search for COVID-19 testing locations by zip code at mass.gov/GetTested. Note that not all sites listed are free.


How Do COVID-19 Tests Work?


Two types of tests can detect if you have an active Covid-19 infection:

  • Molecular tests (such as PCR tests) detect the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes it can take longer to get your results with a molecular/PCR test than with antigen tests because samples must be sent to a lab.
  • Antigen tests detect specific proteins made by the virus. These tests can usually deliver results in 15 to 30 minutes.

Other tests can detect if you have had COVID-19 in the past:

  • Antibody or serology tests detect whether you previously had COVID-19 at some point in the past.
  • They do not detect whether you have an active COVID-19 infection.

For more information about the different types of test and how they work, see these resources:

 

  • Isolate yourself from others for at least five days, regardless of vaccination status and even if you don’t have symptoms. Separate yourself from people you live with and pets as much as possible. Stay in a dedicated “sick room” or area and use a separate bathroom if available. 
  • Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • Notify your close contacts so they can quarantine at home and get tested. A close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of you for a combined total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Prioritize notifying people you spent time with during the two-day period before your symptoms started (or, if you are asymptomatic, two days before you were tested).
  • After five full days of isolation:
    • If you are fever-free and are not experiencing any symptoms, you can end isolation. Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for five additional days.

If you continue to have fever or your other symptoms have not improved, continue isolating until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved. Continue to wear a well-fitting mask.

If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, you may need to quarantine, depending on your vaccination status and whether you’ve gotten a booster shot.

People in the following groups should quarantine for five days and then get tested

  • You are ages 18 or older and completed the primary series of recommended vaccine, but have not received a recommended booster shot when eligible.
  • You received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine (completing the primary series) over 2 months ago and have not received a recommended booster shot.
  • You are not vaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series.

People in the following groups do not need to quarantine but should get tested five days after being exposed:

Read the latest guidance from the CDC.

Contact tracing is an important tool to slow the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19. If you test positive, a public health nurse will call you and ask who you've recently been in close contact with. A close contact is considered anyone you've been within 6 feet of for a total of 15 minutes or more. Those contacts will then be notified of their exposure to COVID-19 so they can quarantine or isolate to stop further transmission of the virus. 

If a local contact tracer is trying to reach you, you will receive a call from "City of Somerville" or "Health and Human Services." Please answer the call! Your information will be kept confidential. A contact tracer will never ask for your social security number or financial information, share your name with your close contacts, or share your information with immigration officials or ICE. 

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