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COVID-19 Alerts

What you need to know:

  • COVID-19 Testing
    COVID testing is at 77 Middlesex Ave. in Somerville (Assembly Square).

    Testing Process and Details:

    • You must have an appointment (see below). Please note: testing slots are limited.
    • You can come by car, by bicycle or on foot.
    • If coming by car, please keep your windows rolled up.
    • There is no age limit for children. But your child must be old enough to sit still and tolerate the nose swab inside the vehicle. 
    • Please bring a picture ID.
    • Tests are provided to everyone, regardless of insurance status. If you have insurance, CHA will bill them for the test (you may get a statement from them showing this).

    Make an Appointment:

    • CHA patients with symptoms: Call the COVID Triage Center at 617-665-1977 (Monday-Saturday 8:15 a.m. - 5 p.m.) All other times, please call your primary care office. Someone is available to help 24/7.
    • CHA patients without symptoms: Call 617-665-2928. 
    • Non-CHA patients with symptoms: please call your regular doctor first. If you have had a medical evaluation and still want to schedule a test, call 617-665-2928.
    • Non-CHA patients without symptoms: Call 617-665-2928.

    Note: Our COVID testing phone line is open Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Appointment slots are limited, and we do not book out more than 5 days.

    Testing Technology:

    COVID-19 (SARS-COV-2) viral testing is performed at our in-house CHA Laboratories.

    We are using the following analyzers to perform the tests using RT- PCR or nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) methods:

    • Cepheid GeneXpert
    • Hologic Panther
    • Genmark E-Plex
    • Abbott ID Now (primarily for hospital testing)

    Getting Results:

    Results may take up to 5 days to be available after you are tested. If you have not been contacted, it is because your result is not yet available.

    CHA patients with symptoms: You will get results from your CHA primary care team. Results will also be available in MyChart.

    Cambridge residents: You will get results from the Cambridge Health Department (617-665-3826).

    Chelsea residents: You will get results from the Chelsea Health Department (617-874-7678).

    Everett residents: You will get results from the Everett Health Department (617-394-2257).

    Malden residents: You will get results from the Malden Health Department (781-397-7052).

    Medford residents: You will get results from the Medford Health Department (781-393-2503).

    Revere residents: You will get results from the Revere Health Department (781-632-2781).

    Somerville residents: You will get results from the Somerville Health Department (617-591-3240).

    Winthrop residents: You will get results from the Emergency Operations Center (617-539-5848).

    Other communities: CHA staff will contact you with your results.

  • COVID Vaccine
    Please visit our COVID vaccine page for current information about vaccine availability
  • Coming for an In-Person Visit

    We are glad you are coming to see us!

    To protect you, and other patients, please STOP for our screeners when entering any CHA building.

    Our safety standards:

    • Wear a proper mask. You must be wearing a procedure or surgical mask, cloth mask, or mask without vents or valves. We will give you a procedure or cloth mask to replace any unsafe mask when you arrive. You won't be allowed into a CHA building if you wear a mask with vents, a gaiter or a bandana.
    • Use hand sanitizer when you enter the building.
    • Maintain social distance (at least 6 feet apart).
    • Answer our questions about COVID exposure or symptoms. (Do you have a fever/chills, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, body ache, headache, or loss of taste or smell?)
    • Come to your visit alone, if you are able. Visitors are permitted only in special circumstances, when necessary for patient well-being.
      • For adults, one caretaker can come to the visit, if needed.
      • For children and elderly patients, one parent or caregiver is allowed for most visits.
      • Please tell the team if you, or someone you care for, has intellectual, developmental, or physical disabilities or other care giving needs.
  • CHA Hospital Visitor Policy during the COVID-19 Pandemic

    For the safety of our patients and staff, hospital visitors are permitted only in special circumstances, when necessary for patient well-being. These include:

    • End of life care for hospitalized patients.
    • Labor and delivery.
    • Breastfeeding moms.
    • Patients on our child and adolescent assessment units.
    • Behavioral health patients, including interactions with an attorney that cannot be done virtually.

    In these limited cases when visitors are allowed:

    • No visitor will be under the age of 18 unless they are a child of the patient.
    • Only one visitor per day for no more than 30 minutes.
    • Visitors will be asked questions about COVID. Any visitor with symptoms will not be allowed to enter.
    • Visitors will be told to wear a mask and keep it on at all times. (Masks with vents, gaiters and bandanas are not allowed).
    • If additional PPE is required, the hospital will provide it and help the visitor with donning and doffing.
    • Visitors must remain 6 feet from patients at all times.

    Every effort will be made to provide video technology for virtual visits with patients.

  • Local Community Resources

    CHA has a website called CHA Connect where you can search for local social services.

    You can use CHA Connect to find things like housing assistance, food support and much more.

  • DPH Reopening Attestations

    As required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, CHA attests to continuing to meet specific requirements to reopen or expand services.

    Phase 1 Reopening Attestation

    Phase 2 Reopening Attestation

About Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

  • How is CHA Managing PPE?

    How CHA is Managing PPE and Protecting our Staff:

    You may have heard that hospitals and healthcare systems across the country are struggling with a shortage of medical supplies, including personal protective equipment (PPE). CHA is working with more than 200 vendors and other partners to locate the PPE needed to care for patients throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and we continue to bolster and conserve our supplies to support our frontline staff.

    With guidance from Lou Ann Bruno-Murtha, DO, CHA’s chief of Infectious Diseases and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, CHA has implemented a comprehensive plan to protect our patients and staff. The unprecedented nature of this pandemic requires us to be nimble and proactive in response to the disease, based on new clinical research and changes in state and federal guidelines.

    CHA providers and staff are our most important asset. Our actions and policies have been carefully designed to both conserve PPE and protect staff and patients from COVID infection. All our policies meet or exceed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

    Some of the steps we have taken to ensure safety:

    • To maximize our supply, CHA launched an extended use/reuse program for N95 respirator masks with guidance from the N95DECON consortium. The masks are disinfected via UV-C sterilization.
    • To help conserve our limited amount of N95 masks, we prioritized supplying employees with direct patient care first, using surgical or cloth masks for staff with less direct interaction with patients. We continue to reinforce that the most important things people can do to protect themselves are to practice social distancing and good hand hygiene, at work and in the community.
    • We have effectively managed a shortage in isolation gowns. When our supply of isolation gowns became critically low, we used Novartis vaporous hydrogen peroxide units to sterilize gowns for reuse. We have also begun reusing Tyvek suits after proper cleaning and disinfection.
    • We issued a call to the community asking for donations of PPE. The response has been tremendous, with corporate and nonprofit organizations generously pitching in as well as community members across the region who created hundreds of homemade masks which are used by patients and non-clinical employees. 
    • CHA developed multiple channels to train staff on PPE procedures and protocols, including handouts/posters, on-site support from infection control team members and nurse educators, video demonstrations expanded training and on-site support for donning and doffing on the units and the introduction of PPE “champions” who help colleagues don and doff PPE properly.
    • We hold daily, tiered safety huddles to provide ongoing communication up and down the organization that allow our staff to ask questions and raise issues to be addressed by our leaders. CHA leaders also participate in frequent rounding on units to see firsthand how things are going and expedite action on any issues.

    We are working very hard to outfit our staff with the needed PPE in spite of the challenges presented by this crisis, and we will continue to adapt our PPE strategies in response to any shortages.

    Our highest priority is ensuring our staff can safely care for our patients and communities.

  • How to Donate PPE
    04/14/2020

    Like all hospitals during this outbreak of COVID-19, CHA is facing a shortage of medical supplies, including PPE. This is an unprecedented and unpredictable crisis, and we are pursuing different avenues to bolster and conserve our supplies so that we can meet the critical need and support our frontline staff.

    We are asking the community for donations of new and unused PPE

    See the list below and click on any of the links for an image of the specific items we are seeking.

    If you need further information (e.g. specs) on any of the items above, please check the following website https://www.medline.com/catalog/catalog.jsp.

    Items can be dropped off with Public Safety at the entrances of our Cambridge, Everett and Somerville Campuss 24 hours a day, seven days a week or mailed to the address below. Items will be delivered to our Central Storeroom, which will inspect and distribute them across our hospitals and primary care centers as needed. Please provide your name and contact info (email) so we can say thank you.

    Vendor inquiries can be sent to supplychain@challiance.org.

    Homemade Donations

    We are so thankful for all the homemade masks we have received, and we now have a sufficient supply to be used internally at CHA. We are still happy to receive homemade masks, which will be distributed to our community partners and city officials who are in need of these masks. If you are interested in creating homemade PPE (masks), below is some guidance:

    • Please use cotton, such as cotton sheets.
    • Create the mask using two layers of material and include a "pocket" so that we can insert a filter.
    • While we know there are different patterns available for mask-making, here is one that CHA recommends for its ease of use.
    • For more info on dimensions of cotton and alternatives to elastic ties, click here.

    Homemade masks can be mailed to:

    CHA Somerville Campus
    33 Tower Street, Somerville, MA 02143
    Attn: Mary Cassesso.

    If you are unable to leave your home, we are happy to pick them up or have them delivered. Please contact Julia Saggese (jsaggese@challiance.org).

    Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

    Updated April 14, 2020

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