Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Summary of Directives as of March 25, 2020

For a summary of current directives to date, please go to:

Summary of Directives

Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact us via our dedicated hotline or email:

COVID-19 Hotline: 617-746-5750

COVID-19 Email: corona@rcab.org

March 24 Updated Directives from Bishop Uglietto

Updated Directives as of March 24, 2020

On March 23, Governor Baker issued a stay-at-home advisory effective until Tuesday, April 7. Indoor gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited throughout the Commonwealth. In accordance with Governor Baker’s advisory, the following directives are in place as of 12 noon today, March 24:

  • All parish offices should be closed effective noon on March 24th and parish office personnel should, to the extent possible, work from home until further notice.
    • Only necessary visits to the parish buildings, such as the custodian to check on and maintain the property and a staff person to execute required financial transactions such as deposits, are allowed.
    • Parishes should ensure frequent voice message retrieval or, alternatively, forward parish phones to appropriate cell or home phones of those working from home.
    • Parishes should post on the door of the parish offices the phone and email of the pastor and secretary in the event someone has an urgent need to communicate with a priest or the parish staff.

In addition, the Cardinal’s letter to priests on March 23, included the following updated guidance:

  • With careful monitoring priests may open their Churches for prayer and adoration during clearly limited times; however, there can be no more than a total of 10 persons in the Church at any moment, there must be a member of the clergy present at all times. Social distancing and proper disinfecting procedures must be practiced.
    • Please be sure to provide Lysol or Clorox or other approved germicidal wipes, with signage and directions that, upon leaving:
      • visitors should wipe the bench and other surfaces that they have touched
      • visitors use the same wipe to hold the door handle as they open the door to exit the church/chapel
    • A waste container should be left outside the door for disposal of the wipes
  • Masses that are taped or streamed from the Church should be limited to essential people without a congregation.
  • Priests are able to place the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament in the window of the rectory if it is feasible for those to pray and view the monstrance only from their cars in the Church parking lot. A priest must be present in the rectory while the Eucharist is displayed but I give permission in these cases for the Eucharist to be exposed without an individual immediately present.
  • Please note the Governor’s advisory that persons over age seventy or with underlying health conditions should limit social interactions with other people as much as possible. With recognition of the responsibilities that we all have during this time of public health crisis, I encourage all people to limit social interactions, and therefore to exercise careful and prudential judgment before making a decision to visit a church.

Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact us via our dedicated hotline or email:

COVID-19 Hotline: 617-746-5750

COVID-19 Email: corona@rcab.org

Pastoral Center Closed effective March 24th.

A Message from John Straub, Chancellor, March 23, 2020:

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you during these difficult and unprecedented times. We have been following the situation closely as directives come from both the state and federal levels in order to provide informed and timely guidance to you. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all continue to stay informed.

In accordance with today’s order from Governor Baker directing all non-essential businesses and organizations to close their physical workplaces, the Pastoral Center will close effective Tuesday, March 24th at noon.

Please continue to work with your supervisor to arrange to work remotely from home.  Our IT team has a number of options available to facilitate remote work, including the ability to work from home on non-RCAB desktops.

In addition, at this time it is the Cardinal’s wish that we continue to pay Pastoral Center staff their regular pay, both full time and part time, on the March 20th and April 3rd pay dates.  This would apply to salaried as well as hourly staff.

Detailed information for completing timecards this week in TimeClock Plus, will be sent out shortly.

In the interim we continue to monitor information released through the Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service, and Federal and State legislative bodies regarding possible offers of assistance to religious institutions and their employees.

We will provide updates and further guidance as information becomes available. Thank you for all that you are doing in support of Christ’s Church through this uncertain and difficult time.

March 19, 2020 - Updated Guidelines and Directives for Parishes and Clergy

These guidelines are updated as of March 19, 3;15 pm

  • All Masses and religious services that would normally be open to the public in all Archdiocesan parishes, missions, and campus ministries are suspended until further notice.
  • Confirmations scheduled to take place in the Archdiocese of Boston prior to Easter are postponed. We will soon follow up with those parishes regarding what options will be available for rescheduling, subject to guidance regarding public gatherings after April 7.
  • Baptisms and weddings may proceed but following Governor Baker’s Emergency Order issued March 15, attendance must be limited to no more than 25 persons. In the interest of the health of the people we serve these liturgies should be limited to only immediate family.
  • Effective Monday, March 23rd, funeral Masses and other forms of funeral services at our churches are suspended in the Archdiocese of Boston. We recommend that the bereaved be offered the opportunity for a graveside committal service during this time and a Memorial Mass when we are able to again offer the celebration of Mass and religious services at our parishes and churches.
  • The dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass for the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Boston remains in place until public celebration of the Mass can be safely resumed.

Directives for Clergy

Informed by best practice recommendations of health care professionals, the Archdiocese has established the following directives for clergy providing sacramental ministry during this time of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.

For clergy providing ministry to persons known to be carriers of COVID-19:

Restrictions for who can fulfill this ministry:

  • No priest or deacon in the high-risk group (i.e., over 60)
  • No priest or deacon with comorbidity; i.e., when two or more chronic illnesses are present. For example, Hypertension, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, any cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, COPD, heart disease.

These restrictions follow the healthcare guidance that indicate younger, healthier individuals are at a much-diminished risk of contracting a serious case of COVID-19.

Anointing of the Sick

  • If this is performed in a hospital or healthcare facility, the guidelines for protective measures, including garments, prevail.
  • If this is not performed in a hospital or healthcare facility: If available, latex gloves should be worn unless the patient or priest/deacon has an allergic sensitivity to latex. Additionally, if available, protective eye wear (a pair of glasses will suffice) should be worn.  Eyeglasses or goggles or eye protectors can be re-used BUT MUST be cleaned immediately after each visit with Lysol/Clorox wipes or washed with soap and water.
  • The anointing may be done with a cotton-tipped swab or a cotton ball which is to be burned or buried after use.
  • If the priest uses his gloved hand, the glove is to be burned or buried after the visit.
  • If Holy Communion is given, it is to be distributed in the hand.
  • Maintain social distance (six feet) with everyone in the room, except the patient.
  • Do not offer comfort with any physical contact.

Also informed by best practice health care recommendations, the Archdiocese is establishing immediately the following directives for clergy providing Holy Communion to the Sick and Homebound:

  • If this sacramental ministry is provided in a hospital or healthcare facility, the guidelines for protective measures, including garments, prevail.
  • If not provided in a hospital or healthcare facility:  If available, latex gloves should be worn unless the patient or priest/deacon has an allergic sensitivity to latex.  Additionally, if available, protective eye wear (a pair of glasses will suffice) should be worn.  Eyeglasses or goggles or eye protectors can be re-used BUT MUST be cleaned immediately after each visit with Lysol/Clorox wipes or washed with soap and water.
  • If the sacramental ministry is provided in a home, the following directives apply:
    • Wash hands or use a hand sanitizer once you enter the home;
    • Avoid any physical contact with the person or family during the visit;
    • Use a hand sanitizer again before distributing Communion;
    • If the communicant usually receives Communion on the tongue, strongly encourage him or her, for your safety as well as his / hers, to receive Communion in the hand.
    • Maintain social distance (six feet) with everyone in the room, except the patient.
    • Do not offer comfort with any physical contact.

In addition, please see the Office of Risk Management’s Risk Alert from March 16, 2020 (below) for information on how to prevent malware infections related to the coronavirus.

Please email us at corona@rcab.org if you have any questions.

Resources for Parents and Children

The Office of Health and Social Services has compiled  a list of reliable resources for coping with the social impact of COVID-19.

For those experiencing extreme stress, anxiety or depression about this public health challenge, please contact your health care provider and the telehealth counseling options that your health insurance plan provides.

Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019: Messages for parents, school staff, and others working with children

Regularly check for any updated information or resources on this topic that are provided by Boston Children’s Hospital:
For families and adults: information, prayers and other resources

March 18, 2020 - Pastoral Center will Reopen March 19

Pastoral Center Re-opens March 19

Staff Encouraged to Work from Home

The Pastoral Center will re-open on Thursday, March 19. However, all are encouraged to take steps to work from home. The building will be open to staff only if you need to obtain necessary files or equipment, or if you serve a critical job function that requires you to be in the building. Otherwise, as recommended by the CDC, MDPH and the Governor, in order to minimize the potential exposure to and transmission of COVID-19, please work remotely from home until further notice.

Only staff may utilize the building; the building is closed to the general public. No outside meetings are permitted in the Pastoral Center until further notice.

Please remember: if you are in self quarantine, do not enter the building under any circumstances until the 14-day quarantine period has expired. Once the quarantine has expired, contact HR and your supervisor before returning.

Procedures for Taking Home Files and Documents

As many of you may be working from home you may feel you need to take a file or document home. If you feel you must take a file or document home, please utilize a Document Log to keep track of the files and documents you take. Please obtain your supervisor’s approval on all documents and files you take out of the office. You should only take materials that are absolutely necessary for you to perform your work.

In addition, please remember to treat any material you take home as confidential. We need to be aware of privacy issues and legal issues related to documents and data security.

Update on the Crypto Virus

The crypto virus attack that occurred on March 13 impacted a significant number of department files. We are pleased to report that our IT department has rectified the situation – files have been restored and most of the desk top computers and laptops have been inspected.

If your computer has a green notice attached to it, you may go ahead and log in. If your computer has a red notice or no notice at all, please check in with IT before turning on and logging in.

Update on Cleaning the Facility

We have performed a thorough industrial cleaning of all Pastoral Center offices, common areas, and the cafeteria. The cleaning will be complete by the end of day March 18.

We would like to remind all of those who return to work to follow the basic CDC guidelines of good hygiene:

  • Frequent hand washing (using hand sanitizers with 60% alcohol when soap and water are unavailable)
  • Protecting your coughs and sneezes with tissues disposed of immediately, or coughing into your elbow if tissues are not available
  • Cleaning and disinfecting commonly used surfaces often
  • Avoiding contact with people who are ill, if possible
  • Maintaining a distance of six feet from others

Please note: If you feel ill for any reason, please stay home.

Please contact your immediate supervisor if you have questions about any of the above.

March 16, 2020 - Risk Alert: Ransomware Scam Related to COVID-19

On the afternoon of Friday, March 13, the RCAB Network was infected by a crypto virus that impacted a significant number of department files. Many files were encrypted and rendered unusable.  Original versions of these files are now being restored from backup.

The malware was introduced onto the RCAB network by one or more users browsing Coronavirus mapping / tracking websites.   If the progress of this infection was not stopped then all files would have been encrypted and the Archdiocese would have been held to ransom.

To help prevent a similar malware infection on your parish or school network please take the following precautions:

  1. Only access well known and reliable sources for information and maps of Covid-19.  These include:

Do not simply google and click links for this type of information. Hackers are using Covid-19 as a cover for placing malware on computers. There are reported malware infected versions of the John Hopkins University Covid-19 mapping website. Infected sites aim to steal account login information or to install ransomware (crypto viruses).

  1. Do not click on any links in emails you may receive from unknown sources with information about the coronavirus. Do not open attachments including pdf files. If the email appears to come from a government agency, health authority or some other group or organization, do not click on any included links or open attachments.
  2. Ensure any accounts you access using an office computer are protected with a complex password and always use two factor authentication where this is an option. This includes all web-based business-related accounts as well as parish/school managed Facebook and other social media accounts.
  3. Pay extra attention to activity on all banking accounts. Variants of the Covid-19 malware include those specifically designed to steal login credentials and banking information. Report any strange or unexpected activity.
  4. Be sure to maintain full backups of all your computer files. Test your backups by performing a file recovery.  In the event your files are corrupted or encrypted by ransomware a backup will be your ONLY option to recover your documents and files.
  5. Ensure that all parish and school computers have a reliable business-class anti-malware solution, e.g., Malwarebytes.
  6. Ensure all parish and school computers are suitably updated and patched with operating system and software updates.
  7. Windows 7 computers should not be used. Upgrade or replace them immediately.

Please follow the same recommendations when using your home computers.

This most recent round of Covid-19 related malware is new and is aimed at taking advantage of an already difficult situation. Anti-malware is not yet available to prevent infection; therefore, it is up to users to be extremely careful. Each person using a computer bares a responsibility to be cautious.

Please forward this advisory to all parish and school staff as appropriate.

March 15, 2020 - Pastoral Center Closed for Two Days

A message from John Straub, Chancellor

Given that we are dealing with a unique computer virus which will temporarily limit access to our network files, as well as the confusion with restrictions on Mass and parish activities, combined with school and business closures, the Pastoral Center will be closed for two days (Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17). On Wednesday, March 18, we will begin an alternate work schedule asking that employees work from home. In preparation for this transition, I would ask that staff and their supervisors identify those aspects of their work that can be performed at home and alternate plans for the continuity of any critical operations that may be a challenge to conduct from home.
During this alternate work schedule, the building will remain available to those essential employees who need to come in to perform any tasks that require an on-site presence. This may include staff such as IT, payroll, benefits, human resources, finance etc. The goal of this alternate work schedule, beginning Wednesday, is to minimize the amount of foot traffic entering the building.
To be clear, the building is neither locked nor in quarantine; however, we would like to keep the number of persons in the building to the bare minimum needed to maintain operations. There will be no food service during this period. Employees may come into the building to retrieve belongings, files or equipment needed or to perform any essential tasks. We should not be hosting large meetings or gatherings with our teams or with outside participants. Further guidance will be provided at www.rcabrisk.org/COVID/ by Tuesday afternoon. If you have specific questions about building operations or how to best accommodate your team’s work, please contact your department head directly, or the Chancellor at jstraub@rcab.org.
Additional guidance is also forthcoming from IT to have employees with RCAB supplied laptops validate their machine is safe to use on the network.

Dedicated Email for Pandemic-Related Information

The Pastoral Center has set up an email for questions, concerns or guidance for our staff. If you have any questions or concerns, please email: corona@rcab.org.

March 14, 2020 - Bishop Uglietto's Letter to Priests

March 14, 2020 Letter to Priests from Bishop Uglietto

My Brothers in Christ,

Informed by best practice recommendations of health care professionals, Cardinal O’Malley has asked me to share with you that the Archdiocese has established immediately the following directives for clergy providing sacramental ministry during this time of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.

For clergy providing ministry to persons known to be carriers of COVID-19:

Restrictions for who can fulfill this ministry:

  • No priest or deacon in the high-risk group (i.e., over 60)
  • No priest or deacon with comorbidity; i.e., when two or more chronic illnesses are present. For example, Hypertension, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, any cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, COPD, heart disease.

These restrictions follow the healthcare guidance that indicate younger, healthier individuals are at a much-diminished risk of contracting a serious case of COVID-19.

Anointing of the Sick

  • If this is performed in a hospital or healthcare facility, the guidelines for protective measures, including garments, prevail.
  • If this is not performed in a hospital or healthcare facility: If available, latex gloves should be worn unless the patient or priest/deacon has an allergic sensitivity to latex. Additionally, if available, protective eye wear (a pair of glasses will suffice) should be worn.  Eyeglasses or goggles or eye protectors can be re-used BUT MUST be cleaned immediately after each visit with Lysol/Clorox wipes or washed with soap and water.
  • The anointing may be done with a cotton-tipped swab or a cotton ball which is to be burned or buried after use.
  • If the priest uses his gloved hand, the glove is to be burned or buried after the visit.
  • If Holy Communion is given, it is to be distributed in the hand.
  • Maintain social distance (six feet) with everyone in the room, except the patient.
  • Do not offer comfort with any physical contact.

Also informed by best practice health care recommendations, the Archdiocese is establishing immediately the following directives for clergy providing Holy Communion to the Sick and Homebound:

  • If this sacramental ministry is provided in a hospital or healthcare facility, the guidelines for protective measures, including garments, prevail.
  • If not provided in a hospital or healthcare facility:  If available, latex gloves should be worn unless the patient or priest/deacon has an allergic sensitivity to latex.  Additionally, if available, protective eye wear (a pair of glasses will suffice) should be worn.  Eyeglasses or goggles or eye protectors can be re-used BUT MUST be cleaned immediately after each visit with Lysol/Clorox wipes or washed with soap and water.
  • If the sacramental ministry is provided in a home, the following directives apply:
    • Wash hands or use a hand sanitizer once you enter the home;
    • Avoid any physical contact with the person or family during the visit;
    • Use a hand sanitizer again before distributing Communion;
    • If the communicant usually receives Communion on the tongue, strongly encourage him or her, for your safety as well as his / hers, to receive Communion in the hand.
    • Maintain social distance (six feet) with everyone in the room, except the patient.
    • Do not offer comfort with any physical contact.

Please know of Cardinal O’Malley’s recognition of the many challenges the COVID-19 outbreak presents as you seek to minister to the people entrusted to your care.  The Cardinal is grateful for your understanding of the necessity that we all closely and carefully follow these directives, for the good of the people of God and our being able to maintain our pastoral and sacramental service.  Please join us in prayer for the safety and well being of all during this public health care crisis.

Fraternally,

+Peter J. Uglietto

March 13, 2020 - COVID-19 Updated Guidance and Directives to Schools and Parishes

Further to Cardinal Sean’s announcement today, we are providing updated guidance and additional details to parishes and schools:

  • All Masses and, except as provided below, religious services in all Archdiocesan parishes, missions, and campus ministries are suspended until further notice. This suspension begins at 4:00pm on Saturday afternoon, March 14. To be clear, there are to be no vigil Masses.
  • The Cardinal has issued a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass during this time to the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Boston.
  • Baptism, Confirmations, weddings and funerals may proceed but attendance should be limited to only immediate family.
  • All other social events, fundraising activities, or other functions should be canceled or postponed until further notice.
  • All field trips, service trips, youth group trips and retreats should be postponed or canceled until further notice.
  • Private Masses may continue.
  • Parish offices will remain open during this time.
  • The Archdiocesan Pastoral Center will remain open during this time.
  • Faith formation and related activities have been suspended until further notice.
  • Extraordinary ministers will suspend services to nursing homes, private homes, and hospitals until further notice.
  • Archdiocese of Boston parish schools and Archdiocesan elementary and high schools will be closed for two weeks from Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 27. Going forward we will consider whether this period needs to be extended.
    • All Catholic schools are urged to make their best effort to provide ongoing learning and provide meals to any students eligible for free or reduced priced lunch. These meals should be offered to students without entering the building; box meals are allowed.
    • Schools should take advantage of this time to ensure their custodial personnel or cleaning services conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the entire facility.

The events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic can be very stressful for all, and especially for our brothers and sisters who are working on their respective recoveries and others in need. In an effort to continue to provide spiritual and community support to these individuals, please note:

  • Regularly scheduled recovery support group (such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Al-Anon) meetings may continue.
  • Food pantries and soup kitchens should remain open at this time.
  • We will continue to offer the Anointing of the Sick by clergy.

Across all of these operations, comply with CDC guidelines, including special consideration for meetings with high risk individuals (limit gatherings to no more than 10) and following the usual practices of good hygiene:

  • Frequent hand washing (using hand sanitizers with 60% alcohol when soap and water are unavailable)
  • Protecting your coughs and sneezes with tissues disposed of immediately, or coughing into your elbow if tissues are not available
  • Cleaning and disinfecting commonly used surfaces often
  • Avoiding contact with people who are ill, if possible
  • Maintaining a distance of six feet from others

Please share the above-noted CDC guidelines with the various outside groups who use your parish space and encourage them to follow basic hygiene and cleaning practices when using parish facilities.

March 13, 2020 - Cardinal Authorizes Temporary Suspension of Mass

Provides Dispensation to the Faithful; Encourages Participation in the Mass Though CatholicTV

In response to growing public concern and following Governor Baker’s Emergency Order prohibiting most gatherings of 250 or more people, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap, Archbishop of Boston, has made the decision effective immediately to temporarily suspend all daily and Sunday Masses and religious services in the Archdiocese of Boston until further notice.  This begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, March 14. In announcing this decision, the Cardinal has also issued a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass during this time to the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Boston.

Cardinal Seán said “We live in times when many people are confused, hurt, and fearful, for many different reasons. In the midst of these challenges Jesus seeks to meet us in the same way He met the disciples on the road to Emmaus, accompanying us on the journey, calming our fears and anxieties and assuring us that He will be with us always in the gift of the Eucharist. This decision to temporarily suspend the daily and Sunday Mass is motivated by an abundance of caution and concern for those most vulnerable and the need to do our part to help limit and mitigate the spread of the illness.”

The directive to temporarily suspend the celebration of Mass applies to all Archdiocesan parishes, missions, and campus ministries until further notice. Baptism, Confirmations, weddings and funerals may proceed but attendance should be limited to only immediate family.

CATHOLIC TV DAILY AND SUNDAY MASS
Cardinal Seán encourages Catholics to participate in the daily and Sunday Masses broadcast from the CatholicTV chapel.
Daily Mass airs live at 9:30 a.m. and is rebroadcast at 7 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
Sunday Masses air throughout the day at 10 a.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m., and 11:30 p.m.
The Sunday Spanish Mass airs live at 8 a.m. and is rebroadcast at 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Viewers can watch these Masses on demand at any time at www.WatchtheMass.com. For more information about CatholicTV and where you can watch it, visit http://www.catholictv.org/.

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS
Earlier today after conferring with Cardinal Seán, Thomas W. Carroll, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, announced that Archdiocese of Boston parish schools and Archdiocesan elementary and high schools will be closed for two weeks from Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 27. On an ongoing basis, the Catholic Schools Office will consider whether this period needs to be extended further.

The Archdiocese will provide ongoing updates to parishes, schools and ministries during this period of response to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Cardinal Seán said, “Though these are challenging times for our parishes and all members of our communities is important that we not forget the importance of care and concern for those who are most vulnerable, including the poor, our senior citizens and people who are medically compromised. I urge those who can do so to maintain the support for their parish during these difficult days in order to sustain the ministries and outreach services for parishioners and those most in need. We entrust the Church to the intercession of our Blessed Mother as we pray for the return to full celebration of the sacraments and community prayer as soon as possible.”

Following the decision to temporarily suspend daily and Sunday Masses in the Archdiocese of Boston, Cardinal O’Malley has asked that all parishes provide for their churches be open every day during reasonable hours in order that the Catholic faithful and other members of the community can have the opportunity to visit the church for times of prayer. The Cardinal has also asked that when possible there be exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the churches.

Cardinal Sean said,” When we visit our churches outside of Mass and see the red glow of the sanctuary lamp we know that Jesus is there with us. The presence of the Eucharist in the tabernacle and during times of Adoration is a sign that Jesus silently and lovingly waits for us, always ready to receive and console us. May our prayers in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament be a source of strength and peace until we can safely resume the celebration of Mass for all members of the Catholic community in our Archdiocese and all who would wish to join us at that time.”

COVID-19 Updates from Benefits

To help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, employees and family members enrolled in the Archdiocese of Boston Blue Cross Health Plans are encouraged to use Well Connection, the Blue Cross telehealth medicine platform, if they feel they may have symptoms of the virus.  Co-payments for use of Well Connection will be waived, effective immediately.   All enrolled employees, spouses, and dependents over age 18 should register in advance for this service, which provides for live video visits 24/7 with licensed physicians.  More information is available at  https://myblue.bluecrossma.com/health-plan/well-connection . Blue Cross also offers the Blue Care Nurse Hotline (888-247-2583), which offers another method to seek clinical guidance for questions about the virus. In addition, their dedicated COVID-19 hotline is 1-888-372-1970.

Also effective immediately, all employees and family members enrolled in the RCAB Health Plans who receive medically necessary COVID-19 treatment at doctor’s offices, emergency rooms, and urgent care centers, will have no co-payment responsibility.  Similarly, diagnostic tests for COVID-19 will be covered in full and will not be subject to a deductible.  When available, vaccines for the virus will also be covered with no out-of-pocket cost.

Relaxed refill restrictions. We are temporarily waiving early refill limits on 30-day prescriptions for maintenance medications at any in-network pharmacy. You can now fill maintenance medication prescriptions ahead of schedule.

Free home delivery. CVS Pharmacy® has waived charges for home delivery of all prescription medications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages people at higher risk for COVID-19 complications to stay at home as much as possible, so this convenient option can help you avoid coming to the pharmacy for refills or new maintenance prescriptions. As always, there is no charge for delivery of prescriptions filled by CVS Caremark Mail Service pharmacy, when you choose mail.

As always, we encourage employees and their family members to seek medical attention when and where they feel it is appropriate. Please contact Blue Cross directly at 800-832-3871 for questions regarding coverage.

Please contact Blue Cross directly at (800) 832-3871 for questions regarding coverage.

For further information, we suggest that you frequently consult the three websites where up-to-the-minute authoritative information is readily available:

Centers for Disease Control

MA Department of Public Health

Boston Children’s Hospital