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Apr 03
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): The Latest

LATEST NUMBERS (As of April 2, 2020):

BOSTON: 

  • 1233 confirmed cases 

  • 106 recovered

  • 10 deaths

OVERVIEW:

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19 (formerly referred to as 2019 Novel Coronavirus or 2019-nCoV) is a new respiratory virus that was first identified in Wuhan, China in December of 2019. 

As of April 2, 2020, there are 1233 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Boston residents. This situation is evolving rapidly and changes day to day. 

On Sunday, March 15, 2020, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) is declaring a public health emergency in the City of Boston due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This allows BPHC the authority to increase the availability of staff and resources, and enhance reporting, information and resource sharing among Boston’s health and medical community. Read the Declaration of Public Health Emergency.

The state of Massachusetts is updating information about COVID-19 cases and residents subject to quarantine in Massachusetts. Visit the MDPH webpage on COVID-19 quarantine and monitoring in the Commonwealth. The CDC is tracking confirmed cases across the United States. For the latest on case counts, visit the CDC's website on COVID-19

HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT COVID-19?

Call 311 or 211

Call the Mayor's Healthline: 

617-534-5050 or Toll-Free: 1-800-847-0710

*Please do not call 911 unless it is an emergency*

CLICK HERE FOR BPHC GUIDELINES ON WHEN TO BE TESTED FOR COVID-19

If you think you are experiencing symptoms, Buoy Health, a Boston-based company is offering free COVID-19 online screenings.

BPHC GUIDANCE FOR INDIVIDUALS:

  • All residents are urged to stay home and practice social distancing.

    • Stay approximately six feet away from other people.

    • Stay home and avoid travel except for essential errands (grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations)

    • Do not congregate in groups of more than 10 people.

    • Practice good hygiene: continue to wash hands, use hand sanitizer, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your inner elbow.

  • Certain people are at higher risk for serious illness from this virus. High risk individuals include:

    • Older adults

    • People with an underlying health conditions, including (but not limited to) heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, obesity

    Residents should limit interactions with persons who are at higher risk for COVID-19.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IN BOSTON:


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What is COVID-19?

Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19 (formerly referred to as the 2019 novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV) is a new respiratory virus that was first identified in Wuhan, China in December of 2019.

How is the COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person. It is spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land on people who are nearby (within 6 feet). It may also be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a recently contaminated surface or object and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.

What are the symptoms and possible complications?

Symptoms include fever and respiratory illness, such as cough and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. Symptoms of COVID-19 may be similar to the flu, with muscle aches accompanying the respiratory tract symptoms. 

Who is at risk for serious complications from COVID-19?

  • Older adults

  • People with an underlying health condition including but not limited to  heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, obesity

How can I help protect myself?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to the virus. BPHC always recommends standard precautions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Using alcohol-based hand rubs and gels.

  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick

  • Staying home when you are sick.

  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or cough into your sleeve.

  • Washing or sanitizing your hands before touching your face.

  • Not sharing drinks, food, or eating utensils.

  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Who should be tested?

If you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing and have higher risk of complications from COVID-19  you should:

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a health care provider's office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your symptoms.

  • Avoid contact with others.

  • Do not travel while sick.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Health care workers in contact with patients or other health care workers, and first responders (EMS, fire, police) need to be tested for COVID-19 whenever they have symptoms that could be due to COVID-19.

If you have mild symptoms and do not have a high-risk condition and are not a healthcare worker or first responder, you do not need to be evaluated in person or tested. You should isolate yourself from others as if you have COVID-19 by:

  • Staying home except to get medical care.

  • Not going to work, school, or public areas.

  • Not using public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.

  • If you are unavoidably around other people, wear a face mask, if possible.

Should I travel during this time?

COVID-19 is reported all over the world, including all states in the US.  There are travel restrictions in effect in a large part of the world.  Avoid travel.  Postpone planned trips.

How is COVID-19 treated?

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 infection. People infected with COVID-19 should receive supportive care and help to relieve symptoms. Most people with COVID-19 are not sick enough to require hospitalization and should be able to stay home.  People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their health care provider immediately.


CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON HOW TO COPE WITH STRESS CAUSED BY COVID-19




TIMELINE:

ABOUT OUR RESPONSE:

Since January, BPHC and Boston EMS have taken extensive steps to prepare for a potential outbreak of COVID-19.

BPHC is engaging in daily communications with the CDC, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), City of Boston departments and other community partners to make sure we have the latest information on guidance, best practices and recommendations. BPHC will provide updated information on this website and on our social media channels as it becomes available.

We are confident the City of Boston will be ready for a safe and effective response as the situation develops.

Watch Mayor Marty Walsh Address Boston On COVID19 Response

RESOURCES:

Fact Sheets on COVID-19:

ONLINE/DIGITAL RECOVERY SUPPORT RESOURCES:

Here are some resources to access vital recovery support online from anywhere:

Alcoholics Anonymous:

Narcotics Anonymous:

Smart Recovery:

Other resources:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS:

Health care providers in Boston should immediately notify BPHC at 617-534-5611 if they suspect a patient is infected with COVID-19. Providers outside of Boston should contact MDPH at 617-983-6800. CDC has created criteria to guide evaluation of patients suspected to have COVID-19. This can be found here.

CLICK HERE FOR PPE GUIDANCE FOR FRONTLINE STAFF

CLICK HERE FOR TRANSIT HELP FOR MEDICAL STAFF (Discount garages, free blue bike rentals)


CLICK HERE IF YOU HAVE SUPPLIES YOU'D LIKE TO DONATE TO FIRST RESPONDERS AND HEALTH CARE WORKERS

CLICK HERE FOR EXEMPT EMERGENCY CHILD CARE PROGRAMS


For more information, call 311 or 211

Call the Mayor's Healthline: 

617-534-5050 or Toll-Free: 1-800-847-0710


Media Contact: 

Caitlin McLaughlin 

cmclaughlin@bphc.org 

(857-393-0002)

 


Mar 15
Boston Public Health Commission Declares Public Health Emergency Due To Coronavirus

BOSTON – Sunday, March 15, 2020 - Today, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) is declaring a public health emergency in the City of Boston due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This is a progressive step in line with the Boston Public Health Commission’s COVID-19 Response Plan that allows BPHC the authority to increase the availability of staff and resources, and enhance reporting, information and resource sharing among Boston’s health and medical community. 

​DOCUMENT: Read the Declaration of Public Health Emergency

“The health and safety of each and every Boston resident is our first priority. At this point, we are undoubtedly experiencing a public health emergency in the City of Boston, and it is clear that we need to activate every tool at our disposal,” said Mayor Walsh. “This declaration will enable us to activate and deploy all the public health resources and personnel necessary to meet the needs of the moment.”

The declaration is an essential step to respond to and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and wellbeing of Boston’s residents. This response requires an all hands-on approach and calls for heightened coordination across BPHC’s bureaus and programs, City departments and health care partners. Declared public health emergencies can aid cities in seeking additional resources and support from the state and federal government. Within BPHC, the declaration allows for internal personnel and resources to be redirected towards the response effort.   

Certain populations, including older adults, anyone with underlying health conditions (such as heart or lung disease or diabetes, anyone with weakened immune systems), and anyone who is pregnant, are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19. All residents are urged to practice social distancing (approximately 6 feet away from other people) whenever possible and to continue to wash hands, utilize hand sanitizer and cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your inner elbow. Residents should take measures to limit interactions with persons who are at higher risk for COVID-19.  

“The health and wellbeing of Boston’s residents, particularly the most vulnerable, are our top priority as the City’s health department,” stated Rita Nieves. “This declaration will allow us to strengthen our response to this outbreak.”  

BPHC has activated its Medical Intelligence Center, which supports coordination across health and medical partners, resource assistance and information sharing. BPHC is working actively with the City’s Office of Emergency Management, to support collaboration across departments and align response efforts.   

While most individuals experience only minor symptoms associated with COVID-19, older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk. As of March 15, 2020, there are 29 cases (confirmed and presumptive positive) of COVID-19 in Boston residents.  

Since January, the Boston Public Health Commission and Boston EMS have taken extensive steps to prepare for a potential outbreak of COVID-19. BPHC and Boston EMS have been engaged in daily communications with city, state, federal and community partners, including hospitals, schools and public safety departments to ensure they have the latest information on guidance, best practices and recommendations.   

Anyone who thinks they may have COVID-19 is encouraged to call their primary care provider, the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050 or Mass 211. Please do not call 9-1-1 unless you are experiencing a medical emergency.    

BPHC will continue to provide updated information on bphc.org/coronavirus and boston.gov/coronavirus. 



Mar 11
Boston Health Officials Announce Closure of Eliot K-8 School Due to Coronavirus Concerns

​Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - Today the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), in conjunction with the Boston Public Schools (BPS), announced the closure of the three campuses of the Eliot K-8 School after a non student member of the school’s community tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). At this time, BPS plans to reopen all three sites of the Eliot school on Thursday, March 19, 2020. 

BPHC staff are working on an ongoing basis to assess risk and follow up with all known contacts of this individual. At this point we encourage everyone who has been physically inside one of three Eliot buildings to practice social distancing and avoid public places until Thursday, March 19, 2020. If you or anyone associated with the school develops fever 100.4°F/38°C or higher, cough or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care provider or the Mayor’s Health Line 617-534-5050 or Toll-Free: 1-800-847-0710.

What does “monitor your health” mean?

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer twice a day and watch for a fever. A fever is a temperature 100.4°F/38°C or higher.
  • Watch for symptoms including a fever, cough, trouble breathing, shortness of breath.
  • If you experience a fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher) or any other symptoms, call your health care provider immediately. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.

What does it mean to practice social distancing?

  • Keep your distance from others (6 feet or 2 meters away)
  • Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during this period.
  • Avoid crowded places (shopping centers, schools, workplace, church and movie theaters)

As of March 11, 2020, there is one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Boston residents, and 18 presumptive positive cases for a total of 19 cases.

Since January, the Boston Public Health Commission and Boston EMS have taken extensive steps to prepare for a potential outbreak of COVID-19. BPHC and Boston EMS is engaging in daily communications with the CDC, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), Boston EMS, City of Boston departments and other community partners, including hospitals, schools and public safety to make sure we have the latest information on guidance, best practices and recommendations. 

BPHC will continue to provide updated information on bphc.org and boston.gov/coronavirus.


Additional Resources:

The Mayor's Healthline: 617-534-5050 or Toll-Free: 1-800-847-0710

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health website on COVID-19



Mar 08
City Health Officials Announce Five New Presumptive Positive Cases of COVID-19

BOSTON - Sunday, March 8, 2020 - The Boston Public Health Commission today announced five new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed or presumptive cases in Boston residents to 9. These cases include one woman in her 30s, one woman in her 60s, one man in his 40s, one man in his 50s and one man in his 60s. They did not require hospitalization and are self-isolating at home. All five cases had a direct connection to the Biogen employee conference at the end of February.

The State Public Health Lab’s result is considered presumptive positive and the specimens will now be sent to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmation. 

There is currently no evidence of community transmission in Boston. The risk remains low, but this situation is evolving rapidly and changes day to day.  

The state of Massachusetts is updating information about COVID-19 cases and residents subject to quarantine in Massachusetts. Visit the MDPH webpage on COVID-19 quarantine and monitoring in the Commonwealth. The CDC is tracking confirmed cases across the United States. For the latest on case counts, visit the CDC's website on COVID-19

People are advised to take many of the same steps they do to help prevent colds and the flu, including:

  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Avoid touching your eyes and face.

  • Clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.

  • Stay home when feeling sick.

  • Get a flu shot.

Since January, the Boston Public Health Commission and Boston EMS have taken extensive steps to prepare for a potential outbreak of COVID-19. BPHC is engaging in daily communications with the CDC, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), City of Boston departments and other community partners, including hospitals, schools and public safety to make sure we have the latest information on guidance, best practices and recommendations. We are confident the City of Boston will be ready for a safe and effective response as the situation develops.

BPHC will continue to provide updated information on bphc.org and boston.gov/coronavirus.

Timeline of Boston cases:

Additional Resources:



Mar 06
City Health Officials Announce Three Presumptive Postive Cases of COVID-19 in Boston Residents

On Friday, March 6, 2020, the Boston Public Health Commission and the MassachusettsDepartment of Public Health announced three presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Boston residents. Two females and a male, all in their 40s, did not require hospitalization and are recovering and self-isolating at home.

The State Public Health Lab’s result is considered presumptive positive and the specimens will now be sent to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmation. 

This case brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in Boston to four - one confirmed and three presumptive positive - since the outbreak started in the US in January. 

There is currently no evidence of community transmission in Boston. The risk remains low, but this situation is evolving rapidly and changes day to day.  

The state of Massachusetts is updating information about COVID-19 cases and residents subject to quarantine in Massachusetts. Visit the MDPH webpage on COVID-19 quarantine and monitoring in the Commonwealth. The CDC is tracking confirmed cases across the United States. For the latest on case counts, visit the CDC's website on COVID-19

People are advised to take many of the same steps they do to help prevent colds and the flu, including:

  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Avoid touching your eyes and face.

  • Clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.

  • Stay home when feeling sick.

  • Get a flu shot.

Watch today's announcement



RESOURCES:

BPHC.ORG

Call the Mayor's Healthline: 

617-534-5050 or Toll-Free: 1-800-847-0710

Visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website on COVID-19

Additional Resources:

Health care providers:

Health care providers in Boston should immediately notify BPHC at 617-534-5611 if they suspect a patient is infected with COVID-19. Providers outside of Boston should contact MDPH at 617-983-6800. CDC has created criteria to guide evaluation of patients suspected to have COVID-19. This can be found here.

For more information, call the Mayor's Healthline: 

617-534-5050 or Toll-Free: 1-800-847-0710

Media Contact: 

Caitlin McLaughlin 

cmclaughlin@bphc.org 

(857-393-0002)


Feb 14
Carbon Monoxide: A Silent Killer

​Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an invisible gas that kills without warning. You can't see it, smell it, hear it or taste it. CO is found in fumes from anything that burns fuel in vehicles, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, furnaces, generators. CO can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it. Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning. 

When you are exposed to too much CO, it is called CO poisoning. CO poisoning can damage the heart, brain, and other organs, or even cause death. According to the CDC, each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisonings not linked to fires. More than 20,000 Americans visit the ER and more than 4,000 are hospitalized. Learn more online at bphc.org/CO

Common symptoms of CO poisoning are:  

  • Feeling drowsy or tired 

  • Confusion

  • Headaches

  • Fainting

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Difficulty breathing

How can you prevent CO poisoning?
Every home in Boston is required by law to have a CO detector on every floor and in every apartment.  It's a good idea to install battery operated or battery back-up CO detectors near every sleeping area in your home. Change the batteries every six months. Here are some other steps you can take to stay safe:

  • Don't warm up your car or let it run when it's inside your garage, even if the garage door is open.

  • Shovel out your car thoroughly and make sure the tailpipe is clear before starting it. Do not sit in a snowed-in car while it warms up.

  • Never use a grill inside.

  • Never use a stove or kerosene heater to heat your home.

  • Maintain all oil- and gas-fired heating systems and appliances with annual cleaning and inspection.

  • Clear exhaust and intake vents for your furnace and clothes dryer of snow and debris (such as leaves) regularly.

  • Have your chimney checked or cleaned every year.

  • Never use a generator inside your home, basement or garage. Keep the generator at least 20 feet from any window, door or vent.

     
    If your CO detector sounds, leave your house and call 911. Only re-enter your home when a professional says it is safe for you to do so.


Feb 01
First Case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Confirmed in Boston

February 1, 2020 – The first case of the 2019 novel coronavirus in Massachusetts has been confirmed in a man returning from Wuhan, China who is in his 20s and lives in Boston. The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH)  were notified by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the positive test results late Friday evening. This is the eighth case of infection with 2019 novel coronavirus reported in the United States. The risk to the public from the 2019 novel coronavirus remains low in Massachusetts.

The man recently traveled to Wuhan, China, and sought medical care soon after his return to Massachusetts. He has been isolated since that time and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials. His few close contacts have been identified and are being monitored for any sign of symptoms.

"We are grateful that this young man is recovering and sought medical attention immediately,'' said Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD. MPH. ``Massachusetts has been preparing for a possible case of this new coronavirus, and we were fortunate that astute clinicians took appropriate action quickly. Again, the risk to the public from the 2019 novel coronavirus remains low in Massachusetts."

"Our priority is not only to protect and inform the residents of Boston but also to help this man continue to recover. We are pleased that he is doing well," said BPHC Executive Director Rita Nieves. "Right now, we are not asking Boston residents to do anything differently. The risk to the general public remains low. And we continue to be confident we are in a good position to respond to this developing situation."

BPHC and MDPH continue to work closely with the CDC to maintain vigilance during this virus outbreak.

The novel coronavirus has resulted in thousands of confirmed human infections in more than 20 countries, with more than 99 percent of cases in China. To date, eight cases have been confirmed in the US: three people in California, two in Illinois and one individual each in Massachusetts, Washington State, and Arizona.

On Friday, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar declared the 2019 novel coronavirus a public health emergency and ordered any US citizens returning from the center of the outbreak in China to be quarantined for two weeks as a precaution. This followed a declaration Thursday by the World Health Organization that the coronavirus outbreak is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Also that day the CDC reported the first case of person-to-person transmission in Illinois between household members. 

BPHC, Massachusetts state health officials, in conjunction with Massport, local health departments, and other medical partners, have responded to prevent the spread of the virus.

Coronaviruses are respiratory viruses and are generally spread through respiratory secretions (droplets from coughs and sneezes) of an infected person to another person. Symptoms of novel coronavirus include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and, in severe cases, pneumonia (fluid in the lungs).  Information about how this novel coronavirus spreads is still limited.

Although the risk of the coronavirus to Massachusetts residents remains low, people are advised to take many of the same steps they do to help prevent colds and the flu, including:

  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes.

  • Stay home when feeling sick.

Fact Sheets on the 2019 novel coronavirus are available in Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, Vietnamese and English.

BPHC is working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control. For more information, call 311.

Additional details and guidance regarding the novel coronavirus, is available from the CDC: 2019 Novel Coronavirus.


Jan 21
Boston Biosafety Committee Meeting January 23, 2020

The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) is holding a meeting of the Boston Biosafety Committee, an advisory group appointed by the BPHC Executive Director under the BPHC Biological Laboratory Regulations.

The meeting will be held on Thursday, January 23, 2020 from 5:30 - 7:30 pm, at 1010 Massachusetts Avenue, 2nd Floor, Hayes Conference Room.


Jan 14
Mayor Walsh, Boston EMS Celebrate New EMT Graduates

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today joined Boston EMS to celebrate the graduation of 24 Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) recruits in a ceremony at Faneuil Hall. This graduating class will be assigned to 911 ambulances, strengthening the City of Boston's emergency medical services (EMS).

"Congratulations to this new group of recruits who are joining the ranks of an elite first-responder family. Boston EMTs and Paramedics are heroes who often show up first on the scene of a crisis or tragedy," said Mayor Walsh. "They save lives and offer immediate help with the utmost professionalism and compassion. The men and women graduating today will be making a difference in the lives of Boston residents across the City, and we cannot thank them enough."


Today's ceremony in front of family, friends and colleagues formally acknowledges 24 recruits' successful completion of a rigorous post-hire training program for EMTs at Boston EMS. Already state-certified EMTs prior to hire, this graduating class, 50 percent of which is women, completed an additional 27 weeks of classroom and field training. Known as "Recruit Class 2019-2," the recruits were trained in a variety of life-threatening emergency situations, including active shooter incidents, hazardous materials exposure, transportation accidents, recovery services, human trafficking and mass casualty incidents.

"This job is more than a career. It is a calling," said Boston EMS Chief James Hooley. "Every day when they put on the uniform and hit the streets of Boston, they will be asked to help others through some of the most-frightening times of their lives. It demands passion, purpose and a lot of heart. Not everyone can do this job, but I know these graduates have what it takes. I'm proud to be here today to officially welcome them to the Boston EMS family." 


This academy class responded to nearly 5,000 9-1-1 calls during their training, treating and transporting more than 3,800 patients. Those emergency incidents included baby deliveries, cardiac arrests, motor vehicle accidents, shootings, stabbings, overdoses and more.

Seven of today's graduates, including the department's first Somali EMT, began the path toward employment through Boston's first EMT City Academy program, a partnership between the Office of Workforce Development and Boston EMS to expand the pool of qualified EMT applicants and reduce hiring barriers for city residents. The program included a scholarship for the Boston EMS EMT course. 

With guidance from seasoned EMT field training officers, recruits are not only prepared to care for patients, regardless of the circumstances, they also now understand the level of care, clinical excellence and professionalism expected of Boston EMS EMTs.

"It is a noble commitment to serve others every single day," said Rita Nieves, Interim Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. "Our EMTs and Paramedics are the ones people turn to during their most vulnerable and critical moments, and they answer the call with kindness, respect and the best medical care available. I want congratulate our graduates and thank them for bringing compassionate care to the people of Boston." 


Boston EMS is one of the busiest municipal EMS providers in New England, responding to more than 125,000 emergency medical incidents per year. As a bureau of the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), Boston EMS is committed to serving Boston's residents through clinical excellence, emergency planning and preparedness, and community outreach.

In his FY19 budget, Mayor Walsh prioritized funding for 20 additional EMTs, increasing the number of budgeted full-time EMS providers from 375 to 395 for the City of Boston. Mayor Walsh's FY20 budget added 4 EMTs to promote diversity and recruitment as well as resources to expand the capacity of Boston EMS's Community Assistance Team, also known as Squad 80. Squad 80 is a two-person team that travels in an SUV and answers calls where patients have a low frequency of being transported to the emergency room, making more ambulances available for priority calls that need to get patients to the hospital. It also connects people to our recovery or homeless services and other city programs.




About Boston EMS

Boston EMS is the primary provider of emergency medical services for the City of Boston and is a nationally recognized leader in the field of pre-hospital emergency medicine. The department leverages the latest advances in both medicine and technology to bring high-quality, compassionate care to the people of Boston. Boston EMS also plays a key role in the City's emergency preparedness efforts and provides community programming designed to educate the public about important health and safety topics.

About the Boston Public Health Commission

The Boston Public HealthCommission, one of the country's oldest health departments, is an independent public agency providing a wide range of health services and programs. It is governed by a seven-member board of health appointed by the Mayor of Boston. Public service and access to quality health care are the cornerstones of our mission - to protect, preserve and promote the health and well-being of all Boston residents, particularly those who are most vulnerable. The Commission's more than 40 programs are grouped into 6 bureaus: Emergency Medical Services; Child Adolescent & Family Health; Community Health Initiatives; Homeless Services; Infectious Disease; and Recovery Services.

Jan 09
Boston Health Officials Alert Residents About Possible Exposure to Measles

​The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) has confirmed that a Northeastern University student who lives in Boston was diagnosed with measles yesterday, January 8, 2020. During the infectious period, the individual went to locations where other people may have been exposed. The last confirmed case of measles in a Boston resident was in October 2019. 

Exposures at Northeastern University occurred from January 3 through January 6, 2020. The student frequented many locations on campus including dormitories, dining halls and classrooms.  

Additional exposures to this individual may have occurred at the below specified locations and times in Boston: 

  • Friday, January 3rd - 8:50pm to 11:30pm  
    Logan International Airport Terminal E 

  • Saturday, January 4th - 1:00pm to 3:30pm  
    Blick Art Materials, 333 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115  

  • Saturday, January 4th - 2:00pm to 5:00pm  
    Tatte Bakery & Café at the Marino Center, 369 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115  

  • Saturday, January 4th - 12:45pm to 3:00pm  
    Wollaston Market in the Marino Center, 369 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115  

  • Saturday, January 4th - 9:00pm to 11:15pm  
    Wollaston Market in the Marino Center, 369 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115  

  • Sunday, January 5th - 11:55am to 2:30pm  
    CVS, 231 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115  

  • Monday, January 6th - 7:00am to 9:30am   
    Rebecca’s Café at Churchill Hall, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 

  • Monday, January 6th - 3:30pm to 7:30pm 
    AT&T Store, 699 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116 

  • Monday, January 6th - 5:30pm to 8:00pm  
    UNIQLO, Newbury 341 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02115 

  • Monday, January 6th - 6:00pm to 8:30pm  
    Brandy Melville, 351 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02115  

  • Monday, January 6th - 6:30pm to 9:00pm 
    Amelia’s Taqueria, 1076 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116  

People who were at these locations could become ill until January 24 – January 27, 2020 (up to 21 days following potential exposure). Anyone who was exposed and is unclear of their immunization status or begins to develop symptoms of measles should call their healthcare provider.

BPHC urges anyone who does not know their measles immunization status to get vaccinated with at least one dose of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. Those who have had measles in the past or have received two doses of measles containing vaccine are unlikely to become ill even if exposed.

Measles is a very contagious virus that is spread through the air, usually through coughing and sneezing. The virus may remain in the environment for up to two hours after the infectious person has left the area. Exposure can occur even without direct contact with an infectious person. Early symptoms include a high fever, runny nose, cough and red eyes. A skin rash usually occurs three to five days later and begins and flat, red spots on the face.

“Measles is a dangerous disease and can cause serious complications, but it is preventable. The best way for everyone to protect themselves is to get vaccinated. If you don’t know your immunity status, call your healthcare provider,” said BPHC Medical Director, Dr. Jennifer Lo. 

This is Boston’s second confirmed case of measles in a City resident in the past 3 months. A Boston resident was diagnosed with the disease on October 6, 2019. Prior to that case, there had been no cases of measles among Boston residents since 2013.

BPHC is working closely with Northeastern University to protect the health and well-being of their faculty, staff and student body. BPHC is also coordinating with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) to contact individuals at high risk for exposure. For additional information, please contact BPHC at 617-534-5611, Northeastern University at 617-373-2772 or MDPH at 617-983-6800.

Fact sheets on measles are available online in English, Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Spanish and Vietnamese.

Media Contact: Caitlin McLaughlin, cmclaughlin@bphc.org 857-393-0002.



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