Dear Constituents of Massachusetts' First Congressional District,
My staff and I in Washington, Pittsfield, and Springfield are working with local, state, and federal agencies to bring you the most up-to-date and accurate information on the coronavirus or COVID-19. Please note that due to this pandemic, all three of my offices are closed. My staff is working remotely and can be reached by calling Washington (202-225-5601), Springfield (413-785-0325), or Pittsfield (413-442-0946). You may also send an email HERE.
The resources outlined below are designed to keep you informed, prepared, and safe.
The Baker-Polito Administration has outlined their "Reopening Massachusetts" plan which can be found HERE.
Richard E. Neal
Member of Congress
Coronavirus or COVID-19
How Coronavirus Spreads
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are within six feet of each other and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Take Steps to Protect Yourself
- Clean your hands often:
- With soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- With a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol ONLY IF soap and water are not available. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
**Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands**
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Distance yourself from other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at a higher risk of getting very sick
Take Steps to Protect Others
- Stay home if you’re sick unless you need to seek medical treatment
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze with a tissue, or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19
Cloth face coverings should—
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- be secured with ties or ear loops
- include multiple layers of fabric
- allow for breathing without restriction
- be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
Clean and Disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them with detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection
Currently, Massachusetts is in Phase 2, Step 5 of the vaccination rollout.
Steps to get your vaccination
Step 1: Check your eligibility below or use our tool
Step 2: Preregister for a mass vaccination location or find a location and schedule your appointment
- Preregister at VaccineSignUp.mass.gov to be notified when it's your turn to schedule an appointment at one of 7 mass vaccination locations: Hynes Convention Center, Gillette Stadium, Reggie Lewis Center, DoubleTree Hotel in Danvers, Eastfield Mall in Springfield, Natick Mall and former Circuit City in Dartmouth.There are different ways to find a vaccine appointment:
Use VaxFinder.mass.gov to search for appointments at pharmacies, health care providers, and other community locations
- Massachusetts’ preregistration system makes it easier to request and schedule an appointment at one of the 7 mass vaccination locations. People can preregister for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at mass vaccination locations only. More locations will be added to the system in April.
- Once you sign up for preregistration, you’ll receive weekly status updates. You can opt out at any time if you find an appointment elsewhere. Once an appointment is available, you’ll be contacted with the opportunity to book the appointment and have 24 hours to accept it.
- Massachusetts receives a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses from the federal government each week. Due to high demand and very limited supply, it may take several weeks to schedule an appointment or to be notified that an appointment is available at mass vaccination locations.
Assistance in Scheduling an Appointment
If you are 75+ or have a loved one who is and are unable to use the online appointment scheduling system to get a vaccine, communities have begun to set up call centers to assist.
In Springfield, residents can call their library:
East Forest Park Branch: 413-263-6836
Forest Park Branch: 413-263-6843
East Springfield Branch: 413-263-6846
Brightwood Branch: 413-263-6805
Central Library: 413-263-6828 ext. 215
Indian Orchard Branch: 413-263-6846
Mason Square Branch: 413-263-6853
Sixteen Acres Branch: 413-263-6858
Raymond A. Jordan Senior Center: 413-787-6785
The Hampden County Sheriff’s Department All Inclusive Support Services assists all of Western Massachusetts residents 75+ schedule appointments. From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. they can be reached at 413-278-5584. If the call goes to voicemail, clearly leave your name and a phone number.
The Berkshire County COVID hotline: 413-449-5575
Want to Help?
Individuals who would like to volunteer their assistance can sign up at https://www.maresponds.org/
Donate or sell personal protective equipment to support Massachusetts' COVID-19 response efforts HERE
MA Financial Resources for COVID-19 HERE
The "Stop the Spread" initiative introduced by the Baker-Polito Administration allows for individuals to receive a free COVID test at various locations throughout the state. For more information on locations, times, and to make an appointment, visit their website HERE.