Covid-19 Information

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November Respiratory Illness Update
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Information on current trends in respiratory illnesses:

RSV and Influenza: RSV cases in the US South are currently extremely high, similar to last year's unusually severe season. In a typical year, RSV cases begin in the south before reaching our region, so we are expecting high levels here in the coming months. Influenza levels remain fairly low locally, similar to in a typical pre-pandemic year.

COVID:  Local and national COVID levels are continuing to rise as we enter the winter respiratory illness season. The latest Northampton effective virus concentration is 1,183,990 copies/L, which correlates to the highest CDC community transmission level of "high." For more information on the connection between wastewater levels and CDC community transmission levels, see this document. Based on positive lab tests and hospitalization data, the COVID Act Now current community risk level in Hampshire County remains "low." 

With elevated respiratory illness levels in our community, it's important to keep taking precautions, especially if you or someone in your household is at higher risk for severe disease. The best ways to avoid becoming ill and to protect our community are still the same: staying home if you're sick, getting all recommended vaccines, wearing a surgical or KN95 mask in crowded spaces, regularly washing hands, improving ventilation in indoor spaces (such as opening windows, and/or using HEPA or MERV13  filters), and following isolation and masking guidance if you do test positive.

wastewater 12-1-23

More information on wastewater sampling can be found HERE and HERE.

More information on specific prevention measures can be found HERE.

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View COVID-19 Dashboard Archive

Questions about this page? Email 

Information Regarding the End of the Public Health Emergency

As many of you have probably heard, on May 11, 2023, the federal government ended the public health emergency and national emergency declarations. Here’s a short guide to what will change, and what’s staying the same.

● COVID vaccines will continue to be available for free until national and state stockpiles run out, likely later this summer or fall. After this point, COVID vaccines will probably have to go through insurance approval, similar to flu vaccines. Both Moderna and Pfizer have promised that uninsured and underinsured people will still be able to get vaccines for free through the companies’ patient assistance programs.         

● Insurance companies are no longer required to cover over-the-counter COVID tests, but some may choose to continue to cover them. Laboratory COVID tests ordered by a provider will generally still be covered, but details should be confirmed with your specific plan

● If you are covered by Medicaid (Masshealth), you may be asked to prove that you still qualify for coverage. Make sure your address is up to date by calling 800-841-2900 and keep an eye out for mail regarding your coverage.

● The CDC has changed how they monitor COVID rates in the community, but information like wastewater testing and hospitalization numbers will still be available to help gauge your risk.

Although some things are changing, there is no difference in what you should do if you test positive or are exposed. If you test positive for COVID, you should isolate until day 5 after your positive test or first symptoms, then mask for days 6-10. If you are exposed to COVID you should mask for the next 10 days and get tested if you develop symptoms. Detailed information can be found here.

If the levels of COVID in the community do increase, consider wearing a mask in high risk environments for extra protection. Keeping up to date with your vaccines and practicing good hand hygiene are also simple ways to stay healthy and avoid illness. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions:

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All Northampton COVID-19 Orders/Press Releases