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. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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.
Since we issued our Executive Order around telehealth, there have been millions of telehealth visits in Massachusetts. Patients and practitioners have adopted it enthusiastically, which is a huge win in terms of people's ability to access care at the appropriate moment. - Gov. Charlie Baker
On Monday May 10, the FDA expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age.
On Monday May 3, the Baker Administration announced that MA is on track to hit the goal of vaccinating 4.1 million people, and also shared details about their plan to offer more targeted, community-based vaccination options.
On Friday April 30, the Baker Administration today announced the establishment of summer learning opportunities and the availability of more than $70 million in funding for school districts and community organizations to offer summer learning and recreational programs.
On Tuesday April 27, the Baker administration announced plans for continued reopening, including a relaxed mask order for outdoor settings, increased gathering limits, and plans to further reopen some industries to varying degrees, effective May 10, May 29, and Aug 1. Get more details here.
On Tuesday April 13th, the CDC and the FDA issued a joint statement concerning the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in light of recently reported blood clot cases. While these cases are being investigated, they are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution.
On Monday April 5th, residents 55+ and residents with one certain medical condition became eligible to receive the vaccine at any of the Commonwealth’s over 300 vaccination locations, including 269 pharmacy locations, and the Administration announced that MA will adopt the CDC’s updated list of medical conditions (full list here).
On Friday March 26, the Baker administration announced two initiatives to increase vaccine administration in the state. The first was an Order of the Commissioner of Public Health authorizing additional individuals to administer vaccine in the Commonwealth, and the second was around a partnership with FEMA to expand access to the COVID-19 vaccine by bringing 6,000 federal doses daily to Boston, in addition to the state's allocation.
On Thursday March 18, the Baker administration announced the transition to phase IV step 1 of the MA reopening plan on March 22. This opens a range of previously closed business sectors and increases gathering limits at indoor and outdoor settings.
On Wednesday March 17, the Baker administration announced an updated vaccine distribution timeline for all MA residents (see updated image above) and $27.4m in federal funding for a vaccine equity initiative.
On Tuesday March 10th, the Baker administration announced a new pre-registration system for mass vaccination locations. On this day, the administration also declared a state of emergency, giving the Administration more flexibility to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak.
CIC Health announced that Fenway Park's last day administering vaccines will be Saturday March 27th, and operations will be transitioning to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.
On Thursday March 3, the Baker Administration announced that K-12 educators, child care workers, and K-12 school staff are eligible for vaccine appointments starting March 11th
On Tuesday February 23, Baker announced in-person learning is a priority this year and has committed funding, resources and support to bring students back to school. Massachusetts will be phasing out remote-only learning in April 2021.
Phase 2 group 2 of vaccinations in MA began on February 18, including individuals age 65+, individuals with 2+ certain medical conditions, and/or residents and staff of low income and affordable senior housing.
Massachusetts has expanded service for the Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line. To access the line: Call 211 Mon-Thu: 8:30AM-8:00PM and Fri-Sun: 8:30AM-5:00PM
Phase 2 of vaccinations in MA began on February 18, now including individuals 65 and older.
On Tuesday January 12, Baker announced that Gillette Stadium will become the first mass COVID-19 vaccination site in Massachusetts
On Monday January 4, the Baker administration outlined plans to vaccinate the Commonwealth’s first responders, the next priority group within Phase One of the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. Also, per CDC guidelines, MA is updating prioritization of individuals 75+ years old to Phase 2 Group 1 of the distribution plan.
On Friday January 1, Baker signed legislation increasing access to quality, affordable care, promoting telehealth and protecting access to COVID-19 testing and treatment
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on December 26, 2020, Massachusetts will implement temporary capacity limits to stop the spread of COVID-19 as cases and hospitalizations rise.
On Wednesday December 9, the Baker administration announced allocation and distribution plans for the first round of COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Massachusetts set to begin around December 15.
On Tuesday December 8, the Baker administration announced that effective Sunday, December 13th, all communities in Massachusetts will return to Step 1 of Phase 3, of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan to respond to an increase in new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations since the Thanksgiving holiday.
On Wednesday December 2, the CDC announced that they will soon issue new guidelines reducing the number of days close contacts should quarantine following exposure from 14 to 7-10 days.
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.
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.