Council on Aging Daily Update

Updates, Friday February 5th, 2021

Given recent improvements in COVID-19 data in the state, the Governor has relaxed some of the recent temporary occupancy restrictions imposed a while ago. Listed below are the restrictions which have been lifted.  These changes are effective Monday February 8th at 5:00 a.m. Here we go:

Summary of Announcement –

  1. Lifting 25% Capacity Restriction –
    1. All businesses in the list below, currently limited to 25% capacity, will return to 40% capacity, as previously allowed. (The sector-specific industry standards dated in December 2020 will apply.) These include;

–    Arcades and Recreational Businesses

–    Driving and Flight Schools

–    Gyms/Health Clubs

–    Libraries

–    Museums

–    Retail

–    Offices

–    Places of Worship

–    Lodging (common areas)

–    Golf (indoor areas)

–    Movie theaters (no more than 50 people per theater)

  1. Restaurants will now be limited to 40% of their seated capacity and, as under the 25% capacity rule, employees will not count toward the limit
  2. Close Contact Personal Services will now be limited to 40% capacity and, as under the 25% capacity rule, employees will be not count toward the limit

–    A limit of 5 people per 1000 sq. feet applies for smaller businesses without an available fire occupancy capacity

  1. There continues to be no capacity limits on manufacturing, construction, and laboratories—these sectors have never had capacity limits

                       Gatherings Order

  1. The gatherings limit will stay at 10 indoors, 25 outdoors.

            All changes are effective Monday February 8th at 5:00 AM

Progress! We can keep this ball rolling if everyone will just mask up and follow the guidelines. I’m sure you saw the recent statistics on Covid spreaders from Dr. Faucci. Everyone 50 and over, guess what? It’s not you doing all the spreading. Good job.

Last Fall, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts hosted some health and wellness webinars and apparently  the feedback was extremely positive. They’re offering these again starting in March, running  through June and have new topics that will be presented on preset dates for all Councils on Aging/ Senior Center throughout Massachusetts.

We’re sharing!

Below is a summary of the Wellness offerings.  Additionally, I’ve attached links to register for these sessions.They’re out there on the body of the email!

NEW – 2021 Wellness Presentation Offerings: (30 minutes)

Eight Simple Steps to a Healthier Heart – March 2 from 10:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Boost Your Health with Better Sleep – March 23 from 10:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Food for Thought: Superfoods to Boost Memory, Mood and Mental Functioning – April 15 from 10:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Immunity Boosters and Busters – May 5 from 2:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Meditation for Busy Minds – May 27 from 2:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Eight Happiness Boosting Strategies – June 8 from 10:00 – 10:30 a.m

Massachusetts has launched a Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line to assist individuals aged 75 and older who are unable to use or have difficulty using computers to schedule a Covid-19 vaccine.  Here are the directions;

Call 2-1-1 and follow prompts to reach

The Massachusetts Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line

Hours of Operations:

Monday to Friday 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

The Massachusetts Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line is available in English and Spanish and will have translators available to support residents in approximately 100 additional languages Individuals ages 75 and older will be able to speak to a representative live on the phone to assist them with an appointment through the state’s online system. These representatives have the same access to appointments as on the public website; it will not give individuals access to additional appointments. If no appointments are available, callers will have the option to be placed on a call back list for a first come first serve call back for the mass vaccination sites. 

The Massachusetts Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line is currently only for individuals ages 75 and older who cannot use or have difficulty accessing the internet and therefore are unable to schedule an appointment through the online platforms. The Massachusetts Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line is only able to support individuals with scheduling an appointment and representatives are not able to answer general questions about COVID-19 or provide individual health care advice.

Please note that currently, there is a high demand and limited vaccine supply. When folks connect with a live person via the hotline, there may not be an appointment available. If this is the case, folks will be placed on a callback list and will receive further outreach when an appointment becomes available.

This hotline is only for eligible individuals 75 & older. Calls to the hotline on behalf of individuals under age 75 will only delay service and appointment scheduling assistance.

The next cohorts that will become open for vaccines are those 65+ and individuals living with two or more CDC-defined certain medical conditions listed as at increased risk. Our office will communicate when those priority cohorts can sign up for their vaccines.

an appointment online may refer those individuals to the Massachusetts Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line by calling 2-1-1 beginning at 11:30 AM on Friday, February 5th.

Have a great weekend!



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