Where you can find important COVID19 related links and resources and office updates
The 2 dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is now approved for children ages 12 years and older! Individuals 18 years and older can get any of the available vaccines.
We do not have the vaccine available in our office and do not know if or when that may change, but we do strongly recommend getting the vaccine if you are eligible!
Check out the mass.gov COVID vaccine site for details.
Mass vaccination sites in Boston offer the Pfizer vaccine, as well as the Somerville, Medford, and Everett vaccination sites operated by the Metro North COVID-19 Vaccination Partnership.
Individuals under 18 need parental consent to receive the vaccine.
WHERE TO GET VACCINATED
- Sign up for Somerville (CHA Vaccine Center), Medford (Tufts University), and Everett (Encore Boston Harbor) vaccine sites here. These sites are operated by Cambridge Health Alliance, as part of the Metro North COVID-19 Vaccination Partnership.
- Go to vaxfinder.mass.gov to see all Massachusetts vaccine locations
- Call 2-1-1, the Massachusetts Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line, for help by phone.
- NO insurance, ID, or social security number needed. You may be asked for ID at some sites, but it is not required or mandatory.
- Getting a vaccine will NOT affect a public charge determination or immigration status.
Please see the mass.gov page for the most recent guidelines on COVID-19 isolation (for those who are COVID-19 positive) and quarantine (for those who have been exposed to a known COVID-19 case)
The Massachusetts Depart of Public Health has provided three options for quarantine in line with CDC recommendations:
7 days of strict quarantine after last exposure (residual risk of infection is about 5%): Release on day 8 IF:
- Negative test (either PCR or antigen) on day 5 or later
- No symptoms up to that point
- Active symptom monitoring through day 14
10 days of strict quarantine after last exposure (residual risk of infection is about 1%): Release on day 11 IF
- No symptoms up to that point
- Active symptoms monitoring through day 14
- NO TEST IS NEEDED
14 days of strict quarantine after last exposure (maximal risk reduction): Release on day 15 IF:
- No symptoms for 14 days
Please see the Mass.gov site for further details on how to quarantine and actively monitor symptoms.
IN OFFICE TESTING
WE NOW HAVE PCR TESTING WITH A 24 HOUR OR LESS TURNAROUND!
We currently are able to test any of our patients, not parents, who have symptoms compatible with COVID-19, are close contacts of a known positive case (typically day 5 or later after last known exposure), or need a test for other reasons contingent on office availability. The symptoms are:
- Fever (≥100.0°F), chills, or shaking chills
- Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Headache when in combination with other symptoms
- Muscle aches or body aches
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
- Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms
Our test is the PCR based test sent to Boston Children's Hopsital and turnaround time is 24 hours (often less). We perform an anterior nares (front of the nose) swab in each nostril.
Our office charges for a visit and the test. We can not guarantee that your insurance will cover all these costs. Typically insurance will cover the test if symptomatic or for exposure but you may want to call your insurance company to confirm. You may receive a charge for the visit depending on your deductible and co-pays.
Below we have testing sites that we recommend for testing that has a quick turnaround and is free. Many of these sites are where we and our families have gone for testing.
QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN CALLING OTHER SITES
Does the site perform testing on children my child's age?
Do I need to make an appointment?
What is the expected turnaround?
What is the wait time in line for a test?
Will I be charged for testing?
RECOMMENDED TESTING SITES
Cambridge Health Alliance: Serves residents of Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Malden, Medford, Revere, Somerville and Winthrop. Call 617-665-2928
City of Boston testing sites: Boston has a number of sites set up that are open to the public and either are free or take insurance.
Partners testings sites: Speak to the nurses line saying you are either symptomatic or a close contact of a known positive to get testing. Call 617-724-7000
ProEMS public testing, $80 per test.
CIC public testing, $80 per test, 2 years and older.
LINKS AND RESOURCES
INFORMATION ON THE VIRUS
BEING AT HOME / TALKING WITH KIDS / MENTAL HEALTH
Helping Kids Cope With Coronavirus - a thank you gift from us!
In no particular order here are some things we think might be fun or that we have tried and are fun to do while stuck at home...
Yoga, mindfulness and relaxation designed specially for kids aged 3+, used in schools and homes all over the world.
Check out these virtual train rounds from around the world!
A dad doing fun things with his 2 kids that you can do at home too
Great short podcasts to introduce classical composers to kids. Fun to pair with some Looney Tunes
Lots of cool things on Google Arts and Culture including seeing how Picasso and Mili made art with light. Then try it at home!
Quick and fun little activity with beautiful results
Fun craft projects
From the Fabric Workshop and Museum some fun little art projects
Go for a drive and pick a musician or band to work through. Dr. Gall started with The Beatles.
From the Guggenheim, Jeff sketches stories and prompts folks to make sketches of their own.
The author of "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" and "Piggie and Gerald" books teaches kids how to doodle, including many of his most famous characters.
Looking for ways to be involved in efforts to help your community? Here are some ways we have found.
This website is a great place to find ways to teach kids compassion and empathy, providing ways to engage them in giving activities. In addition, it does provides links to local places to volunteer.
This article lists a bunch of local restaurants that are taking donations to provide meals for hospital workers.
An all volunteer community effort to help link individuals in need to with individuals who can help. Their document also has a ton of other useful COVID information and more links for places to volunteer. If you want to sign up immediately for a need or to help click here to fill out their form.
BELMONT COVID-19 NEED FUNDS
Donate to our local Covid19 Needs Fund; all funds go directly towards COVID-19 relief efforts and to people in need. For tax deductible donations, make checks payable to “Winn Brook School PTA” and mail to: Amy Kirsch, 8 Jason Road, Belmont, MA 02478; write Belmont in memo line. To make a donation online (online donations are not tax deductible), go here.
Food for Free has been rescuing food that would otherwise have been wasted and getting it to those in need in Cambridge since 1981. They have a number of volunteer opportunities.
"Boston Cares is partnering with The Greater Boston Food Bank to provide centralized volunteer recruitment and coordination to meet the emerging needs of our network of partner hunger-relief agencies, including food pantries, community meal programs and other food assistance providers throughout the nine counties and 190 towns and cities across Eastern Massachusetts."
Free deliveries and friendly check-ins for those at-risk for COVID-19. Get what you need safely, from a volunteer neighbor. Here is the volunteer page.
An organization serving the seniors in many of our local towns get access to food and other services. Here is their volunteer page. They need donations as well.
If you would like to be a volunteer responder during a Massachusetts health-related emergency or event then check this site out and register.
This website and associated app you can download connects young people to age appropriate volunteer activities.