The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives. Although we’ve seen great progress with testing and taking precautions to “flatten the curve”, we still have a lot of work to do, and the work is ever-evolving. As always, we're here to help you and your loved ones get the answers and care you need to stay healthy, physically AND mentally.
Below is some key COVID-19 information and resources we've compiled for the Firefly community. We’ll keep this page updated with new information and insights, so check back often.
The Firefly Health Approach to COVID-19
I did not realize when I came on as medical director that we’d be designing something that would actually be very, very useful in a pandemic situation.
- Nisha Basu, Firefly Medical Director
We're a virtual-first primary care and behavioral health company, which makes us more than ready to help you during the COVID-19 pandemic. We offer:
A team of experts. Our care team is reading and analyzing the COVID-19 recommendations and updates from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Massachusetts Department of Health, and other reputable sources.
Clear guidance. We turn our expertise into guidance on what you should and shouldn't do to stay healthy and safe, and that counseling continues in a stress-free way if you are concerned that you may be sick.
Refreshingly convenient service. Easy-to-use in-app video and chat services will help you to get the answers and advice you need, wherever and whenever.
No membership fees. No membership or hidden fees with us. Just your regular copay and you're good to go.
Additionally... Firefly can help you assess, stratify, care for and support your employees as they re-enter the workplace. We provide a simple, robust approach to support your transition with daily screening, ongoing monitoring, testing facilitation, COVID care, and behavioral health support.
Current Guidance for Massachusetts
(as of September 16, 2020)
It's now more important than ever, especially as we get into phase 3, that you take advantage of things like telehealth... stay in contact with your clinicians if you're concerned about your health status.
On Wednesday September 9, Gov. Baker announced that Salem and Saugus have moved from high risk down to moderate risk, Springfield moved from moderate risk to low risk, and Chelsea, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn, Framingham, and Revere continue to see the highest number of cases per 100K.
AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine study put on hold due to suspected adverse reaction in participant in the UK – read more here
On Wednesday August 18, Gov. Baker announced $3.3 million in grants to address urgent food insecurity for Massachusetts residents as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and make the Commonwealth’s food system more resilient. The Stop the Spread initiative also added 3 new communities, Salem, Holyoke and Saugus, bringing the total count to 20.
Over 70% of the state's 371 school districts said they will offer hybrid or in-person learning this fall, with only 30% proposing fully remote plans.
On Friday August 7, Gov. Baker announced a new set of initiatives aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, due to a recent uptick in cases. This order includes a reduced limit on outdoor gatherings from 100 to 50 people and an indefinite postponement of step two of phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan.
On Monday August 3, the POTUS signed an executive order to support healthcare in rural areas by permanently expanding some telehealth services beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Friday July 24, Gov. Baker issued COVID-19 Order No. 45 adopting a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving in Massachusetts (hereinafter, the Order). The effective date of the Order is August 1, 2020. More details on guidance surrounding travel to MA can be found here.
5 months into the coronavirus pandemic, people in MA and across the country are often waiting up to a week or more to learn the results of their COVID-19 tests, seriously endangering efforts to contain and control future infections. Read more about this report from the Boston Globe.
On Tuesday July 21, after a three-month hiatus, the POTUS resurrected his coronavirus task force briefings, with a big shift in tone.
On Monday July 13, Gov. Baker announced the launch of a new online portal where residents can report any businesses that are violating the state's reopening guidelines. Go to mass.gov/compliance or call the state's 211 COVID-19 hotline to do so.
On Wednesday July 8, Gov. Baker announced the "Stop the Spread" testing initiative, which will begin on July 10. This includes increased testing in high risk communities (e.g. nursing homes) and higher positive rate communities, plus widespread asymptomatic testing.
On Thursday July 2, Gov. Baker announced, consistent with public health data and trends, that Phase III of Reopening Massachusetts would begin on Monday July 6. This phase includes movie theaters, museums, fitness centers, and sports games (without spectators).
As of late June, Massachusetts continues to have one of the lowest coronavirus transmission rates in the country due to strict enforcement of some of the most effective interventions (namely distancing and, when unable to distance, using face masks). You can find live state-by-state data on the Rt (a key measure of how fast the virus is growing) here.
On Friday June 26, Gov. Baker unveiled a $275M COVID-19 economic recovery package to generate economic growth amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Step Two of Phase II of Reopening Massachusetts began on June 22, including indoor table service at restaurants and some personal service establishments (with restrictions)
COVID-19 testing was recently made more widely available in MA and details to help you get tested easily can be found here.
On Monday June 15, Gov. Baker announced the availability of pop-up COVID-19 testing sites throughout the Commonwealth for individuals who have recently participated in large gatherings.
On Tuesday June 9, Gov. Baker filed “An Act to Ensure the Collection of COVID-19 Data,” which will build on legislation recently signed to expand data collection during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday June 8, the state transitioned into Phase II of Reopening Massachusetts. Businesses such as retail, childcare, hotels, and restaurants are allowed to open with contingencies (announced on June 6)
On Monday June 1, Gov. Baker issued an Executive Order that provides a detailed list of businesses and activities that fall into Phases II, III, and IV of the Commonwealth’s Re-Opening Plan, and also details rules for resuming amateur sports and outdoor dining.
Be Your Healthiest You: Firefly Health Webinars
We hosted a series of educational webinars for the Firefly community and general public. Feel free to listen or share with your friends and loved ones.
Coronaviruses are a group of common viruses and usually cause mild-to-moderate respiratory illnesses. The outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 2012 were caused by coronaviruses. Influenza is a completely different virus than coronavirus.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. Symptoms of this infection may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and, in severe cases, pneumonia.
Most people with COVID-19 will have some respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
Since COVID-19 disease is caused by a new virus, people do not have immunity to it, and a vaccine may be at least a year away.
Stay Healthy and Protect Others
COVID-19 spreads in two ways: when an infected person coughs or sneezes; and when a person touches a surface that has the virus on it and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We know you’ve heard this all before, but to combat both ways of getting COVID-19, you need to avoid other people and wash your hands... a lot.
Limiting your contact with others to help prevent the spread of disease is a practice known as social distancing. Avoid places with more than 10 people, limit contact with, or keep at least 6 feet away from, people outside of those who live with you, and stay home as much as you can. Also, wash your hands often and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and try to clean all surfaces and frequently-used items with disinfectant wipes.
I Feel Sick… Now What?
Stay home and contact a medical professional – they will have you answer a few questions. Talking to a medical professional is the best way to understand the next steps you should take if you feel ill. Do not visit urgent care or the emergency room, as you may expose yourself to those who are sick or unknowingly spread the virus to others. Firefly’s in-app chat and video services are perfect for this type of communication.
If you are tested, you should remain in self-quarantine until the result is back. If the test result is positive, you should isolate for a few weeks at home while you recover – even if you have no symptoms.
Firefly Recommends: Trusted Advice & Resources
There's a ton of COVID-19 information on the internet and social media. Here are some articles and resources we trust and recommend.