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COVID-19 Resources and Information for Students in Massachusetts

For general information about COVID-19, please refer to the Monitoring Health page of the News@Northeastern COVID website. 

Resources for Students in Massachusetts

24/7 Emergency medical services on campus: NUPD, 617.373.3333 (911 or local emergency services off-campus)

Should you or someone you know have a medical or mental health emergency, please call local emergency medical services. Tell them if you or the person experiencing an emergency has symptoms of COVID-19. 

Emergency warning signs of COVID-19 include*: 

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath 
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest 
  • New confusion or inability to arouse 
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS): Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 

If you are feeling sick and want to speak with a medical provider, or you want to speak with a mental health provider or express interest in a virtual mental health support group, please call 617-373-2772 during UHCS hours of operation. A provider will call you back to conduct a brief assessment and make recommendations for care. 

Immediate mental health support remains accessible to students through Find@Northeastern 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Call 877.233.9477 (in the U.S.), +1.781.457.7777 (Int’l).  

Find@Northeastern also offers telehealth options: 

  • 5 free sessions of confidential video counseling each semester with a licensed clinician through an online platform. 
  • ICare internet cognitive behavioral training, a self-guided program designed for college students experiencing stress and anxiety. 

If you’re feeling distressed during this uncertain time, please know you’re not alone. Join other Northeastern students for free and confidential support groups for help with managing stress related to COVID-19, starting the week of April 27th.

Northeastern University Student Health Plan (NUSHP)

Students enrolled in the Northeastern University Student Health Plan (NUSHP) automatically have access to Well Connection’s medical and mental health online telehealth services. As of March 21, 2020Well Connection has waived the standard $10 co-pay for a visit. Click here for more information about accessing Well Connection. (Available only within the U.S.) 

A 24/7 Nurse Hotline (1.888.247.2583) is available for free to all NUSHP members and offers a safe and convenient resource for minor ailments or questions. 

Visit the BCBS Coronavirus Resource Center site for additional resources and information about NUSHP coverage for COVID-19. 

WeCare: Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm 

For general support and questions about university processes, call 617.373.7591 or email wecare@northeastern.edu

Office for Prevention and Education at Northeastern (OPEN): Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm 

For COVID-19 related resources for survivors of sexual and domestic violence, for those in recovery, and for information about vaping, alcohol use, and COVID, visit OPEN’s website, email open@northeastern.edu or call 617.373.4459 during hours of operation. 

Partners Healthcare COVID-19 hotline: 617-724-7000 

  • Open 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., 7 days/week.
  • Partners HealthCare has a COVID-19 nurse hotline that is available to anyone who is a Partners Healthcare patient, regardless of immigration status or insurance. Nurses on the hotline can be reached from 8am-8pm daily. If you would prefer to speak to a clinician in a language other than English, translation services are available.

Massachusetts 2-1-1: Informational and referral phone hotline and online chat  

  • Call 211: Open 24/7. All calls are free and confidential. Interpreter services are available in multiple languages. 
  • Provides information about COVID symptoms and testing. 
  • Online live chat on the Massachusetts 2-1-1- website

Information for Students in Massachusetts

How do I follow the public health orders and advisories from Governor Baker, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and Boston Public Health Commission? 

Individuals with any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 should remain in their homes and request assistance with accessing essential services, such as obtaining food or medications.

Maintain physical distance from others: People can spread COVID-19 up to 48 hours before they have symptoms. Stay home as much as you can. If you must go out, don’t gather in groups, stay 6 feet/2 meters away from others, and don’t shake hands or hug. (Massachusetts Department of Public Health)

Wear a cloth face mask or covering: Governor Baker issued an Order effective Wednesday, May 6 requiring face masks or cloth face coverings over the nose and mouth in public places where physical distancing is not possible. This applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces. Exceptions include children under the age of 2 and those unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition. Please see the next question for more information about face masks and coverings. (Massachusetts Department of Public Health)

Follow the Safer-at-Home Advisory: On Monday, May 18, 2020, Governor Baker announced Massachusetts’s phased reopening plan with information on how and when different industries can reopen. On the same day, Massachusetts Department of Public Health released an updated “Safer-at-Home” Advisory.

Under this Advisory:

  • People over the age of 65 and people who have underlying health conditions – who are at high risk for COVID-19 – should continue to stay home except for essential errands such as going to the grocery store and to attend to healthcare needs
    • “Stay at home” means only leaving your home to address essential needs, get some fresh air and exercise, and if you do, avoid unnecessary contact with other individuals.
  • All residents are advised to leave home only for healthcare, worship and permitted work, shopping, and outdoor activities.
  • When going to the pharmacy ask if you can fill your prescriptions for 90 days if possible; for some medications this is not allowed. If you are at high-risk, try to use a mail-order service.
  • Don’t participate in close contact activities such as pick-up sports games.
  • All residents are REQUIRED to cover their face when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public.
  • Parents should limit play dates for children.
  • Refrain from visiting nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, or other residential care settings.
  • All residents are advised to wash their hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soapy water.
  • All residents are advised to be vigilant, monitor for symptoms and stay home if you feel sick.
  • Use remote modes of communication like phone or video chat instead of visiting friends or family who are high risk for COVID-19.

Self-quarantine upon arriving in Massachusetts: Beginning March 27, all travelers arriving to Massachusetts are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days. Health care workers, public health workers, public safety workers, transportation workers and designated essential workers are exempt from this requirement. (Massachusetts Department of Public Health)

In Boston, stay home between 9 pm and 6 am: A Public Health Advisory is in place for everyone in Boston, except essential workers, to stay at home from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. each day. (City of Boston)

When do I have to wear a face covering or mask? How do I wear one correctly?

A face covering may help prevent you from spreading COVID-19 to other people. A face covering can include anything that covers your nose and mouth, including dust masks, scarves and bandanas.

Do not use health care worker masks, such as N95 masks – those should be preserved for healthcare workers.

When you wear a cloth mask, it should:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face,
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops,
  • Include multiple layers of fabric,
  • Allow for breathing without restriction, and
  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.

When putting on and taking off a mask, do not touch the front of it. You should only handle the ties or ear straps, and make sure you wash the cloth mask regularly. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching the mask.

Cloth masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. (Massachusetts Department of Public Health)

For more detailed guidance on this topic, see the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s frequently asked questions (FAQs) on wearing masks.

What if I have concerns about the cost of care, testing, or treatment for COVID-19? 

Effective March 16, 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued guidance that includes the following: 

  • All commercial insurers and the Group Insurance Commission are required to cover medically necessary telehealth services in the same manner they cover in-person services. The full order is available here. 
  • Insurers must cover COVID-19 related treatment and testing without requiring cost-sharing of any kind – such as co-pays and coinsurance – for testing and treatment. 
  • Additionally, insurers cannot require prior authorization for these services. (Office of Governor Charlie Baker