MHAC’s COVID-19 Updates and Resources: 6/19-6/25

Jun 24, 2020

In addition to an evolving COVID-19 resource page, MHAC is continuing to collect and share updates on COVID-19 from state government, federal agencies like the Centers for Disease Control, and other key stakeholders.

These updates are to help and inform a wide range of individuals and partners, including communities working to become more age- and dementia friendly.

Please see the latest updates below:

  • DPH Releases Recommendations of COVID-19 Health Equity Advisory Group

To address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color and marginalized populations, the Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Health Equity Advisory Group today released new data and specific recommendations to inform the state’s ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response.

The list of recommendations and advisory group members are available here.

  • Independent Report on Holyoke Soldiers’ Home Tragedy Released by Baker Administration

The Baker-Polito Administration released the independent report ordered by Governor Baker to investigate the COVID-19 outbreak at Holyoke Soldiers’ Home.

The report indicated that 76 Soldiers’ Home veterans who were COVID-19 positive died in the 11-week period between March 25, 2020 and June 12, 2020. 18 additional veterans died during this period who tested negative for COVID19, or for whom no test was conducted.

The report noted that the average age of residents in the Soldiers’ Home is 85.

  • JCHS: As Economy Reopens, Guidance Must Consider Older Adults’ Living Situations

The Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) posted a research article highlighting how many older adults, and others with preexisting conditions, live in households or buildings with people who may increasingly be out in the world, at work, shops, schools and daycares, or social events. Those who live in close contact with others—either in multifamily buildings or multigenerational households—are disproportionately people of color, and indeed, rates of severe illness are higher among older adults who are Black and Hispanic than among those who are white.

A key takeaway proceeds that any guidance encouraging older people and others at higher risk of serious illness continue to isolate at home, while well-intentioned, does not eliminate risks, especially for those in close proximity to others.

See the JCHS research article here.

  • NCOA: Senior Medicare Patrol Warns of COVID-19 Fraud

According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) has been receiving complaints of unsolicited callers using the fear and uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic to prey on Medicare beneficiaries. SMPs, who operate in every state, help beneficiaries prevent, detect, and report Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse.

Check out NCOA’s blog post here with resources from SMP on how to spot and prevent scams relative to COVID-19.