BOSTON (WWLP) – The state is helping residents prepare for an increase in COVID-19 cases by providing at-home tests and personal protective equipment (PPE).
The Baker-Polito Administration plans to distribute another 3.5 million free at-home COVID-19 rapid antigen tests and PPE for municipalities and community organizations to make available to residents statewide.
“By expanding access to tests through the places where people regularly visit, and to municipalities who know their communities best, we will ensure that all Massachusetts residents have access to free tests and PPE to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services, Marylou Sudders. “Everyone can continue taking steps to help manage COVID-19 – including staying up to date on vaccines, staying home when sick, and wearing masks as needed.”
The state has provided tests, KN95 masks, surgical masks, face shields and nitrile gloves to municipalities and organizations including day programs, councils on aging, community-based organizations, health care providers, providers of affordable housing for seniors, Aging Services Access Points (ASAPs) and assisted living residences.
Applications will be available to municipalities and eligible settings and organizations, with tests and PPE distributed while supplies are available.
According to the state, Massachusetts is a national leader in vaccination rates with over 84 percent of eligible residents fully vaccinated and over half of adults boosted. The Department of Public Health advises the following protocols to protect against COVID-19:
- Get vaccinated and stay up to date. The best protection against COVID-19 is staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines. That means being fully vaccinated and getting a booster. Fully vaccinated people are much less likely to get sick or spread the virus that causes COVID-19, especially if they have their booster shot. Learn more at mass.gov/CovidVaccine.
- Take a test for COVID-19. Testing for COVID-19 is widely available, including at-home rapid tests. Get tested if you have symptoms. Learn more at mass.gov/GetTested.
- Get treatment. If you test positive, talk to your doctor right away about treatment options that are available for people who have mild to moderate symptoms. Learn more at mass.gov/CovidTreatments.
- Stay home when you are sick. Staying home helps prevent the spread of illness.
- Mask up if you need to. Learn more at mass.gov/MaskUpMA.
- Enable MassNotify on your smartphone. Learn more at mass.gov/MassNotify.
- Wash your hands. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. Or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.