MHAC’s COVID-19 Updates and Resources: 6/26-7/2

Jul 2, 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:

  • CDC Releases Updated Guidance for Older Adults at High Risk

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated COVID-19 guidance for older adults at risk, which has been an evolving resource throughout the pandemic.

The new guidance includes what older adults “need to know” when “deciding to go out” and a section on doctor’s visits and getting medications.

  • BCBS Foundation Unveils Resource on COVID-19–Related Changes in Massachusetts Affecting MassHealth, Health Connector programs, and the Health Safety Net

Massachusetts, with support from the federal government, has implemented several policy and programmatic changes intended to promote continued access to health care services and health insurance coverage during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

A new centralized resource documents and describes the policy, regulatory, and administrative actions pertaining to MassHealth, Health Connector programs, and the Health Safety Net. This technical resource is intended to be used by advocates, enrollment assisters, and other stakeholders to assist consumers in identifying options to protect their access to coverage and health care services. Since policies and programs are changing frequently in the current environment, this resource will be regularly updated. 

  • Next Avenue: Answers to Top Ten Pandemic Questions from Older Adults

In an article that aims to address the most frequent reader questions, Next Avenue conveys advice from experts on how older adults can safely visit family, access services and amenities, and travel during the pandemic.

  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation Awards Grants to Community Health Centers

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation recently announced it will give $3 million to select
Community Health Centers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Connecticut to support equity and equality in accessing health care, and to address health disparities in black and brown communities and vulnerable populations.

This is part of Harvard Pilgrim’s $38 million commitment announced last week, aimed
at providing financial relief to employer groups, members, and independent primary care physicians in its service area due to the pandemic.

More information on this and other grants from HPHC Foundation is available here.

  • NIH Releasing Updates and Resources on COVID-19 Testing and Research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been releasing a stream of information on their COVID-19 webpage relative to the testing and research aspects of the pandemic, including a blog from the NIH director.

  • Baker Administration, MBTA and Community Partners Highlight Food Security Partnership with The RIDE

Governor Baker joined MBTA leaders and community partners, including the Greater Boston Food Bank and Greater Boston YMCA, to highlight an innovative partnership to help provide Boston’s most vulnerable residents with access to food by utilizing RIDE paratransit service.

As ridership on the MBTA’s RIDE service has significantly declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, available RIDE vehicles are currently being utilized to pick up and deliver food items and school meals to residents. More information is available in a press release from the Governor’s office.