COVID-19 Important Information
- Free telehealth services for COVID-19 treatment continues to be available to Massachusetts residents ages 18 and older. This is a quick and easy way for people who have COVID-19 to see if Paxlovid is right for them. If it is, the medicine is free and can be picked up at a local pharmacy or shipped overnight with free delivery. Learn more at mass.gov/CovidTelehealth
- The CDC issued guidance in April saying that people ages 6 and older are considered up to date on their COVID-19 vaccination if they have one dose of the bivalent vaccine.
- People who have never had a COVID-19 vaccination are up to date if they get one dose of the bivalent vaccine.
- People ages 65 and older or who are immunocompromised can get an additional bivalent dose. Learn more at mass.gov/COVIDvaccine
- Instead of using terms like “boosters” and “primary series,” we are shifting toward talking about doses—and specifically, bivalent doses.
- If people don’t know if they had a bivalent dose, there are ways to find out.
- Children ages 6 and over who got a booster on October 12, 2022 and children 12 and over and adults who got their last booster on or after September 2, 2022 would have received a bivalent dose.
- Vaccination cards say if someone had a bivalent dose. People can also look up their online vaccination records or contact the place they got their last dose.
- DPH Mobile and the Vaccine Access and Administration (VAA) program will continue to provide clinics upon request from community partners through the Clinic Request Form.
- DPH’s In-home vaccination program will continue to provide services. Information and a link to request in-home vaccinations are on www.mass.gov
- • Federal and State mask mandates, including for hospitals, ended on May 11, but healthcare settings must have their own infection control policies that include masking when there is respiratory illness in their community.
- •MassHealth members should make sure their information with MassHealth is updated. They may need to provide new documentation so that they can stay in the program. Visit www.mass.gov/masshealth for more information.
- After May 11, the federal government will no longer supply individuals with free at-home tests for COVID-19, but many organizations can order them at a discount. Visit the statewide contract ordering information page for COVID tests to learn more. Insurers are no longer required to cover monthly at-home tests.
- MassHealth and other insurance will continue to cover COVID-19 PCR testing when ordered by a healthcare provider.
COVID-19 Information - Regularly Updated
- City of Taunton COVID-19 Information Line: 774-406-5277
- The Board of Health will no longer be posting reports on a weekly basis, but will continue to monitor COVID-19 cases among Taunton residents.
- Any questions may be directed to the Board of Health at 508-821-1400 or the COVID Information Line at 774-406-5277.
New COVID-19 Treatment Hotline
- Tested positive for COVID-19? Telehealth is a quick and free way to see if you’re eligible for COVID-19 treatment.
- You can access telehealth services by calling 833-273-6330 or by completing an online assessment at mass.gov/CovidTelehealth
- Clinicians are available every day from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM EST
- This service is not for medical emergencies or those who have severe chest pain or shortness of breath.
- Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccination Data and Updates
- COVID-19 Press Releases Issued by the Governor's Office
- Commonwealth of Massachusetts COVID-19 Interactive Data Dashboard
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
As of April 18, 2023, the monovalent Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are no longer authorized for use in the U.S.
Following FDA regulatory action on April 18th, CDC has taken steps to simplify COVID-19 vaccine recommendations and allow more flexibility for people at higher risk who want the option of added protection from an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose.
CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met April 19th to discuss these COVID-19 vaccine recommendation changes, and the associated implications and implementation. Although there was no vote at this meeting, ACIP members expressed their support for these recommendations.
These changes include:
Monovalent (original) COVID-19 mRNA COVID-19 vaccines will no longer be used in the United States.
CDC recommends that everyone ages 6 years and older be up to date with their vaccines, which includes receiving a bivalent booster dose.
For those who have not yet received a monovalent primary series, CDC now recommends a single bivalent dose.
Individuals ages 6 years and older who have already received an updated mRNA vaccine do not need to take any action unless they are 65 years or older or immunocompromised.
For young children (6 months through 5 years), multiple doses continue to be recommended and will vary by age, vaccine, and which vaccines were previously received.
CDC’s new recommendations allow an additional updated (bivalent) vaccine dose for adults ages 65 years and older and additional doses for people who are immunocompromised. This allows more flexibility for healthcare providers to administer additional doses to immunocompromised patients as needed.
Alternatives to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines remain available for people who cannot or will not receive an mRNA vaccine. CDC’s recommendations for use of (monovalent) Novavax or Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccines were not affected by recent changes.
CDC and ACIP will continue to monitor COVID-19 disease levels and vaccine effectiveness in the months ahead and will plan on additional discussion around potential updates this fall.
What are the differences between monovalent and bivalent vaccines?
A monovalent vaccine is a vaccine with one strain of a virus. A bivalent vaccine is a vaccine with two strains of a virus. Many different vaccines have both monovalent and bivalent versions, including flu vaccines and COVID- 19 vaccines.
City of Taunton COVID-19 Vaccine Availability Information
Currently being vaccinated: all MA residents ages 6 months and older are eligible for the vaccine
Use VaxFinder to search for appointments at additional pharmacies, health care providers, and other community locations.
COVID-19 Testing in Taunton / Raynham
- CVS COVID-19 Testing - Taunton: Washington Street, Winthrop Street/Raynham: Broadway
- Walgreens COVID-19 Testing - Taunton: Broadway, Winthrop Street, Dean Street
- Raynham Taunton Pediatrics COVID-19 Testing (Patients Only) - 876 Broadway, Raynham
- Health Express Raynham COVID-19 Testing - 106 New State Highway, Raynham
- Free COVID-19 (PCR) testing is provided at Bristol Community College in Fall River. This is a drive-through service and test results are generally available within 24 to 48 hours. To book an appointment, please visit the 10 to 8 website
For additional locations, please refer the Department of Health: Find Covid-19 Test website.
At home COVID-19 testing is available at no cost to all eligible Massachusetts adults.
Kits are reserved for adults (18+) who live or work in a congregate setting, are experiencing symptoms, have recently been in contact with someone with COVID-19, or who have otherwise been recommended for testing.
Please visit the Pixel by LabCorp for Massachusetts website for details, and to request a test kit.
For all eligible individuals, this COVID-19 test is provided at no cost to you and is covered by your health insurance plan or, if you do not have health insurance, by the federal government. To be eligible to receive this test, at no cost to you, you must meet one or more of the criteria. If you do not meet any of the eligibility criteria, you may still be eligible to receive testing at no cost to you at one of the testing sites in Massachusetts.
FDA Authorizes Emergency Use of Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine
On July 13, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) endorsed an advisory committee's recommendation that the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine be used as a primary series option for adults.
"We have expanded the options available to adults in the U.S. by recommending another safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. If you have been waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine built on a different technology than those previously available, now is the time to join the millions of Americans who have been vaccinated," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. "With COVID-19 cases on the rise again across parts of the country, vaccination is critical to help protect against the complications of severe COVID-19 disease."
For more information, please visit the FDA U.S. Food and Drug Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update website.
Department of Public Health Updates COVID-19 Data Reporting
Boston (July 8, 2022) - Today, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced updates to its COVID-19 data reporting to take effect beginning the week of July 11, 2022. The changes include publishing the COVID-19 Interactive Data Dashboard on a weekly basis rather than five days per week, to reflect the evolving COVID-19 response in the Commonwealth.
"As the pandemic has continued to evolve, so too have our data needs," said State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown. "The changes taking effect next week are part of our ongoing efforts to adapt to the pandemic and focus on the metrics most useful at a given time. The updated reporting reflects the current status of COVID-19 and its impact."
Changes to the Interactive Data Dashboard include:
- Data will be uploaded to the interactive dashboard once per week on Thursdays
- Updated population denominators to more recent Census numbers going forward
- The Contact Tracing and Clusters tabs under COVID-19 Cases will be removed going forward; due to changes in case investigation and contact tracing practices, these data are no longer representative of the current situation
- Higher Education data information will be removed going forward, due to the decrease in surveillance testing being conducted in those settings
Changes to the Thursday Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Report include:
- This report will now be published each Wednesday rather than Thursday, and the Doses Administered table (currently posted Monday through Friday) will be consolidated into the weekly vaccine dashboard
- County reporting data will include those fully vaccinated and those with at least one booster dose (currently includes those with at least 1 dose and those with at least one booster dose)
- All of the county data is available at the municipal level and can be aggregated. All of the raw data for contact tracing, clusters and higher education, including historic data, remains available. Chapter 93 data reports will continue to be uploaded Monday through Friday.
"While we all have become used to checking the numbers every day, monitoring trends over time is actually the most useful way to apply the COVID-19 data," said Dr. Helen Boucher, Interim Dean of Tufts University School of Medicine, Chief Academic Officer at Tufts Medicine, and member of the Governor's Medical Advisory Board. "Given that Massachusetts has one of the best vaccination and booster percentages in the nation, these changes make sense at this stage in our COVID-19 response."
Last year, the interactive dashboard and vaccine report were updated from posting 7 days per week to 5 days per week. The latest reporting updates reflect the evolution of the pandemic given the wide availability of multiple mitigation tools, including vaccination, antivirals, and monoclonal antibody therapies, as well as a highly vaccinated population in Massachusetts.
DPH will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 in Massachusetts and maintains the ability to increase the type and frequency of data publication in the future if there is a need.
Massachusetts maintains one of the most robust and comprehensive public data reports on COVID-19 in the nation and has continued to regularly review and adjust its reporting of metrics as the impact of COVID-19 has evolved. See the latest COVID-19 data by visiting the Massachusetts Department of Health website.
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Children Ages 6 Months to 4 years Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccinations
Boston - Following recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Baker-Polito Administration today announced that Massachusetts children ages 6 months to 4 years old are now eligible to receive the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
For the 6 months to 4-year-old age group, the Pfizer vaccine consists of three pediatric doses and the Moderna vaccine consists of two pediatric doses. Appointments will be available for booking beginning Tuesday, June 21st with additional locations and appointments expected to come online in the following days. Vaccines are already available to those 5 years and older. The Administration expects there to be over 400 locations for children ages 6 months to 4 years old to receive a vaccine in the coming weeks.
The COVID-19 vaccine has shown to be safe, effective, and protective against serious illness or death. The Administration is committed to ensuring families have convenient access to free, safe, and effective vaccines. Children 6 months and older may receive a vaccination at locations such as their pediatricians' offices, community health centers, state-supported vaccination sites, mobile clinics and some pharmacy settings depending on the pharmacy and the child's age.
"We know parents and families have been waiting for this, and we are pleased to have this last age group approved for the COVID-19 vaccine," said Dr. Estevan Garcia, a pediatrician, and Chief Medical Officer at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. "The vaccine for this age group has been rigorously tested and we encourage parents to add this vaccine to the list of critical vaccinations their children should receive. We urge parents to reach out to their child's health care provider with any questions they may have."
How to find a pediatric COVID-19 vaccination appointment:
Parents who prefer to have their child vaccinated by their primary care provider should call their provider's office directly.
Visit the VaxFinder tool for a full list of available locations. You can narrow results to search for locations offering the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine. Some locations listed may only vaccinate certain ages. Read the site details to learn more.
For individuals who are unable to use VaxFinder, or have difficulty accessing the Internet, the COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line is available by calling 2-1-1 (Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 6 pm, Saturday and Sunday 9 am to 2 pm). The COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line is available in English and Spanish and has translators available in approximately 100 additional languages.
Massachusetts is a national leader in vaccination rates with over 84% of eligible residents fully vaccinated and over half of adults boosted. Massachusetts residents have ready access to vaccines, rapid tests, and therapeutics - all the resources needed to prevent severe illness and the Commonwealth's COVID data shows these tools work.
The vaccine is free, and you do not need insurance or an ID to be vaccinated. Additional information on the COVID-19 vaccination, including FAQs, can be found at the Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccine website.
For vaccine information on ages 6 months to 4 years, please visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website.
For vaccine information on ages 12 to 17, please visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website.
Department of Public Health Reminds Residents of Availability of COVID-19 Treatments for Positive Higher-Risk Individuals
Boston (February 23, 2022) - The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today reminded residents that free treatment options are available that can be used to prevent severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19. Several treatments, including monoclonal antibody infusions and oral therapeutics, are widely available across the Commonwealth.
Treatment is available for people who are at increased risk of severe disease, test positive for COVID-19 and have any symptoms, even mild ones (such as runny nose or cough).
Residents who think they may be eligible and have questions on if treatment is right for them should contact their medical provider or call the COVID-19 Self-Referral Treatment Line operated by Gothams. The Gothams call line is a free resource that can help refer individuals to sites for monoclonal antibody treatments.
These treatment options have been authorized by the FDA for the treatment of COVID-19 in individuals ages 12 and over who are at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness.
There are five treatment options in Massachusetts:
Oral Therapeutics (Pills)
- Paxlovid (must be taken within 5 days of your first COVID-19 symptom)
- Molnupiravir (must be taken within 5 days of your first COVID-19 symptom)
Oral therapeutic treatments require a prescription from a healthcare provider.
Monoclonal Antibody Intravenous (IV) and Antiviral Infusion
- Sotrovimab (must be administered within 10 days of your first COVID-19 symptom)
- Remdesivir (must be given within 7 days of your first COVID-19 symptom)
- Bebtelovimab (must be administered within 7 days of your first COVID-19 symptom)
Referrals for monoclonal antibody treatment can be provided by the Gothams call center by calling 508-213-1380, Monday through Saturday 8 am-6 pm, or by an individual's healthcare provider.
"These therapeutics, including COVID pills and infusions, are potentially lifesaving but for eligible individuals, they need to be administered quickly to be effective," said Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke. "They can help keep you from getting very sick and out of the hospital. If you test positive for COVID-19 and have any kind of risk factor such as diabetes or high blood pressure or asthma - we encourage you to call your provider or the Gothams phone number immediately to see if the treatment could be right for you. Do not wait to see if your symptoms worsen."
"Importantly, the new guidance on use of these therapeutics and their increased availability enables essentially all patients who are diagnosed with COVID-19, are experiencing even mild symptoms, and are at an increased risk of severe illness to access proven treatments that can prevent severe disease and save lives," said Massachusetts Medical Society President Dr. Carole Allen. "Don't wait. Even if symptoms are mild, please consider these safe and effective treatments to prevent the disease from progressing to a point that may require hospitalization."
"We are fortunate that there is now an ample supply of therapeutic treatments available widely across the Commonwealth," said Patricia Noga, Vice President, Clinical Affairs, Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association. "Our healthcare community views these therapeutics as a part of routine COVID care and hospitals are strongly encouraging clinicians to utilize them to the greatest extent possible. MHA and our members are committed to expanding access to these treatments as we navigate our way out of this latest surge."
Treatments are free and widely available across the Commonwealth. Residents who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 can view treatment locations by visiting the COVID-19 Therapeutic Locator.
There are seven state-sponsored locations managed by Gothams in Pittsfield, Holyoke, Athol, Plymouth, Everett, Lowell, and Fall River, in addition to select pharmacies and healthcare settings.
To receive treatment, residents should:
- Contact your doctor. They can help identify the best treatment for you
- Call the Gothams COVID-19 Self-Referral Treatment Line, Monday through Saturday, 8 am to 6 pm at 508-213-1380 to speak to a representative who can help individuals access treatment
There is capacity within the Commonwealth and those in need are often able to receive same-day appointments.
Visit Massachusetts Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences website to learn more about the options available to you.
The best protection against severe illness or hospitalization from COVID-19 is vaccination and getting a booster dose. Visit the Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters website for more information.
On Friday, May 20, 2022, the Baker-Polito Administration announced COVID-19 boosters are available for children ages 5 to 11.
Children ages 5 to 11 are able to receive the Pfizer Pediatric COVID-19 booster from hundreds of locations across the Commonwealth.
Additional information on the COVID-booster, including FAQs, can be found at the Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccine and Booster website.
iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Tests
iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Tests have been determined to have a 12-month shelf-life based on stability studies, so the expiration dates for these tests have been extended.
To check the updated expiration dates of any kits you may have, please visit the iHealth Labs website.
At-Home Covid-19 Tests
Free at-home COVID-19 tests can be ordered at the US Government Covid website.
Four tests will be issued per family (per address). Any questions can be directed to the COVID-19 Information Line at 774-406-5277.
After consulting with medical experts and state health officials, the Commissioner of the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has decided the state mask requirement will not be renewed after it expires on February 28, 2022.
Effective Monday, February 28, the DESE mask requirement will be lifted in schools statewide. The Commonwealth's high vaccination rates and widespread availability of COVID-19 testing for school personnel and students is cited in support of this decision.
Masking continues to be required on all school buses, per federal order.
Any individual who wishes to continue to mask, including those who face higher risk from COVID-19, are supported in that choice.
DESE and the Department of Public Health strongly recommend unvaccinated individuals should continue to wear masks in school settings.
The DESE Commissioner will continue to monitor public health data, consult with medical experts and state health officials, and issue further guidance and/or requirements as needed.
"My Vax Records" Provides New Option to Access Vaccine History and QR Code to Verify COVID-19 Vaccination
Available at the My Vax Records website.
How It Works: a person enters their name, date of birth, and mobile phone number or email associated with their vaccine record. After creating a 4-digit PIN, the user receives a link to their vaccine record that will open upon re-entry of the PIN.
The electronic record shows the same information as a paper CDC vaccine card: name, date of birth, date of vaccinations, and vaccine manufacturer. It also includes a QR code that makes these same details readable by a QR scanner, including smartphone apps. Once the SMART Health Card is received, users are able to save the QR code to their phone, such as the Apple Wallet, screenshot the information and save it to their phone's photos, or print out a copy for a paper record. The system follows national standards for security and privacy.
This system provides an optional way that residents can access their vaccination information and a COVID-19 digital vaccine card. This will provide residents with another tool to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, should it be requested by businesses, local governments, or other entities.
CDC Updates and Shortens Recommended Isolation and Quarantine Period for General Population
Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation for the public. People with COVID-19 should isolate for 5 days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1 to 2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2 to 3 days after.
Additionally, CDC is updating the recommended quarantine period for anyone in the general public who is exposed to COVID-19. For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days. Alternatively, if a 5-day quarantine is not feasible, it is imperative that an exposed person wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure. Individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure. For all those exposed, best practice would also include a test for SARS-CoV-2 at day 5 after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.
Isolation relates to behavior after a confirmed infection. Isolation for 5 days followed by wearing a well-fitting mask will minimize the risk of spreading the virus to others. Quarantine refers to the time following exposure to the virus or close contact with someone known to have COVID-19. Both updates come as the Omicron variant continues to spread throughout the U.S. and reflects the current science on when and for how long a person is maximally infectious. These recommendations do not supersede state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, nor do they apply to healthcare workers for whom CDC has updated guidance.
For further information, please refer to the CDC Newsroom website.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) accepts applications for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance.
You may qualify if:
- You are a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who paid for funeral expenses after January 20, 2020
- The funeral expenses were for an individual whose death in the United States, territories or the District of Columbia, may have been caused by or was likely the result of COVID-19
Eligible applicants must provide a copy of the death certificate, proof of funeral expenses incurred, and proof of assistance received from any other source.
Call 844-684-6333, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 8 pm (Central Time) to complete an application with help from FEMA's representatives.
Multilingual services will be available. No online applications will be accepted.
For additional information, please refer to the FEMA Funeral Assistance FAQ website.