April 6, 2022

The Latest On Coronavirus & COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives. As we continued to work towards the new normal, we're here to help you and your loved ones get the answers and care you need to stay healthy, physically AND mentally.

Below is some key COVID-19 information and resources we've compiled for the Firefly community. We’ll keep this page updated with new information and insights, so check back often. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

The Firefly Health Approach to COVID-19

We're a virtual-first primary care and behavioral health company, which makes us more than ready to help you during the COVID-19 pandemic. We offer:

  • A team of experts. Our care team is reading and analyzing the COVID-19 recommendations and updates from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Massachusetts Department of Health, and other reputable sources.
  • Clear guidance. We turn our expertise into guidance on what you should and shouldn't do to stay healthy and safe, and that counseling continues in a stress-free way if you are concerned that you may be sick.
  • Refreshingly convenient service. Easy-to-use in-app video and chat services will help you to get the answers and advice you need, wherever and whenever.
  • No membership fees. No membership or hidden fees with us. Just your regular copay and you're good to go.

Not a member yet? Get started by signing up on our website, or giving us a call at (855) 869-9284.

Current Statistics for Massachusetts

(as of April 6, 2022)

Total Confirmed Cases:

7-Day Average Positivity:

Everything you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccines

As you contemplate getting vaccinated, we have taken the time to review and share everything we know about the vaccines HERE.

coronavirus vaccine tracker
More info at The New York Times

MA and National COVID-19 Resources:

There's a ton of COVID-19 information on the internet and social media. Here are some articles and resources we trust and recommend.

MA and National News Updates:

  • On March 29, 2022, the FDA Authorized Second Booster Dose of Two COVID-19 Vaccines for Older and Immunocompromised Individuals
  • Read here for more info on what rising COVID-19 infections in the UK and Europe could mean for the US (from Tuesday March 15, 2022).
  • As of Tues March 8, The 607 single-day infection tally is the lowest daily count of cases since July 28 2021, and the total of 291 patients is the lowest hospitalization count since Aug 6 2021.
  • On Sat March 5, citing improving COVID-19 metrics in Boston, Mayor Michelle Wu announced that the City’s indoor masking mandate will be lifted.
  • Statewide school mask requirement in Massachusetts to be lifted Feb 28. Read more here.
  • Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Tuesday February 1, 2022, that they are seeking emergency use authorization from the FDA for a Covid-19 vaccine for children younger than 5. More details here.
  • As of January 19, 2022, every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days. More info can be found here.
  • On Monday December 27, the CDC announced it was shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days, if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others.
  • On Thursday December 9 2021, the FDA authorized the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use as a booster in people ages 16 and 17, and the US CDC recommended it for this age group.
  • On Wednesday December 8 2021, Pfizer-BioNTech announced that preliminary laboratory studies demonstrate that three doses of their COVID-19 Vaccine neutralize the Omicron variant while two doses show significantly reduced neutralization (i.e. get your booster!)
  • On Thursday, December 2, 2021, the CDC revised the current Global Testing Order to shorten the timeline for required testing for all international air travelers to one day before departure to the United States.
  • On Wednesday December 1 2021, the CDC announced that the first confirmed case of the omicron variant was detected in the United States
  • On Friday, November 19, 2021, the CDC expanded the recommendation to all people over 18 to receive COVID boosters.
  • As of Tuesday November 2, children ages 5 to 11 are eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, after the CDC signed off on an expert panel's recommendation.
  • On October 18, the FDA announced they would allow ‘Mix and Match’ approach for Covid booster shots.
  • On Tuesday September 21, Johnson & Johnson announced that a two-dose version of their coronavirus vaccine provides 94% protection against symptomatic infection.
  • On Monday September 20, Pfizer said its COVID-19 vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11 and that it will seek U.S. authorization for this age group soon.
  • On Wednesday September 8, the World Health Organization extended the call for a moratorium on Covid booster doses until the end of the year to promote vaccine equity worldwide.
  • On Monday August 23, the FDA fully approved the first COVID-19 vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.
  • On Thursday, August 12, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to allow for the use of an additional (third) dose in certain individuals with weakened immune systems. And on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, the CDC released the Administration’s plan for COVID-19 booster shots for all American people.
  • Check out the summary of recent updates to the CDC's interim public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people. On July 27, the CDC added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.
  • On Tuesday July 13, NBC Boston reported that the more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 appears to be gaining traction in Massachusetts as in the rest of the country.
  • On Tuesday June 15, the Commonwealth launched the “Mass VaxMillions” vaccine lottery program in an effort to increase vaccination numbers. Fully vaccinated residents 18 and older will have the opportunity to enter to win of five, $1 million cash prizes. Fully vaccinated residents between 12-17 years of age may enter for the chance to win one of five $300,000 scholarship grants.
  • On Tuesday June 1, The National Institutes of Health announced it has started an early stage clinical trial looking at what happens when an adult who is fully vaccinated with one type of Covid-19 vaccine, is boosted with a different shot about three to four months later.
  • On Monday May 28, Governor Baker joined Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy and Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders to sign an Executive Order terminating the Commonwealth’s State of Emergency effective June 15, 2021, and rescinding most COVID-19 restrictions as of May 29.
  • On Monday May 17, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that the Commonwealth is on track to meet the goal of vaccinating 4.1 million residents by the first week of June. Additionally, all remaining COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted effective May 29, and Baker will end the State of Emergency on June 15.
  • On Monday May 10, the FDA expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age.
  • On Monday May 3, the Baker Administration announced that MA is on track to hit the goal of vaccinating 4.1 million people, and also shared details about their plan to offer more targeted, community-based vaccination options.
  • On Friday April 30, the Baker Administration today announced the establishment of summer learning opportunities and the availability of more than $70 million in funding for school districts and community organizations to offer summer learning and recreational programs.
  • On Tuesday April 27, the Baker administration announced plans for continued reopening, including a relaxed mask order for outdoor settings, increased gathering limits, and plans to further reopen some industries to varying degrees, effective May 10, May 29, and Aug 1. Get more details here.
  • On Tuesday April 13th, the CDC and the FDA issued a joint statement concerning the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in light of recently reported blood clot cases. While these cases are being investigated, they are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution.
  • On Monday April 5th, residents 55+ and residents with one certain medical condition became eligible to receive the vaccine at any of the Commonwealth’s over 300 vaccination locations, including 269 pharmacy locations, and the Administration announced that MA will adopt the CDC’s updated list of medical conditions (full list here).
  • On Friday March 26, the Baker administration announced two initiatives to increase vaccine administration in the state. The first was an Order of the Commissioner of Public Health authorizing additional individuals to administer vaccine in the Commonwealth, and the second was around a partnership with FEMA to expand access to the COVID-19 vaccine by bringing 6,000 federal doses daily to Boston, in addition to the state's allocation.
  • On Thursday March 18, the Baker administration announced the transition to phase IV step 1 of the MA reopening plan on March 22. This opens a range of previously closed business sectors and increases gathering limits at indoor and outdoor settings.
  • On Wednesday March 17, the Baker administration announced an updated vaccine distribution timeline for all MA residents (see updated image above) and $27.4m in federal funding for a vaccine equity initiative.
  • On Tuesday March 10th, the Baker administration announced a new pre-registration system for mass vaccination locations. On this day, the administration also declared a state of emergency, giving the Administration more flexibility to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak.
  • CIC Health announced that Fenway Park's last day administering vaccines will be Saturday March 27th, and operations will be transitioning to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.
  • On Thursday March 3, the Baker Administration announced that K-12 educators, child care workers, and K-12 school staff are eligible for vaccine appointments starting March 11th
  • Baker announce that Phase III, Step 2 begins Monday March 1 and Phase IV, Step 1 will begin March 22. Also, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was approved by the FDA for emergency use on February 27.
  • On Tuesday February 23, Baker announced in-person learning is a priority this year and has committed funding, resources and support to bring students back to school. Massachusetts will be phasing out remote-only learning in April 2021.
  • Phase 2 group 2 of vaccinations in MA began on February 18, including individuals age 65+, individuals with 2+ certain medical conditions, and/or residents and staff of low income and affordable senior housing.
  • Massachusetts has expanded service for the Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line. To access the line: Call 211 Mon-Thu: 8:30AM-8:00PM and Fri-Sun: 8:30AM-5:00PM
  • Phase 2 of vaccinations in MA began on February 18, now including individuals 65 and older.
  • On Tuesday January 12, Baker announced that Gillette Stadium will become the first mass COVID-19 vaccination site in Massachusetts
  • On Monday January 4, the Baker administration outlined plans to vaccinate the Commonwealth’s first responders, the next priority group within Phase One of the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. Also, per CDC guidelines, MA is updating prioritization of individuals 75+ years old to Phase 2 Group 1 of the distribution plan.
  • On Friday January 1, Baker signed legislation increasing access to quality, affordable care, promoting telehealth and protecting access to COVID-19 testing and treatment.

Understanding Coronavirus and COVID-19

Coronaviruses are a group of common viruses and usually cause mild-to-moderate respiratory illnesses. The outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 2012 were caused by coronaviruses. Influenza is a completely different virus than coronavirus.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. Symptoms of this infection may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and, in severe cases, pneumonia.

Most people with COVID-19 will have some respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Since COVID-19 disease is caused by a new virus, people do not have immunity to it, and a vaccine may be at least a year away.

Stay Healthy and Protect Others

COVID-19 spreads in two ways: when an infected person coughs or sneezes; and when a person touches a surface that has the virus on it and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We know you’ve heard this all before, but to combat both ways of getting COVID-19, you need to avoid other people and wash your hands... a lot.

Limiting your contact with others to help prevent the spread of disease is a practice known as social distancing. Avoid places with more than 10 people, limit contact with, or keep at least 6 feet away from, people outside of those who live with you, and stay home as much as you can. Also, wash your hands often and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and try to clean all surfaces and frequently-used items with disinfectant wipes.

Lastly... #WEARAMASK!

I Feel Sick… Now What?

Stay home and contact a medical professional – they will have you answer a few questions. Talking to a medical professional is the best way to understand the next steps you should take if you feel ill. Do not visit urgent care or the emergency room, as you may expose yourself to those who are sick or unknowingly spread the virus to others. Firefly’s in-app chat and video services are perfect for this type of communication.

If you are tested, you should remain in self-quarantine until the result is back. If the test result is positive, you should isolate for a few weeks at home while you recover – even if you have no symptoms.

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