Wendell Board Of Health Update, October 25, 2023

Posted on October 25, 2023

Covid-19 test kits

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has delivered a "one-time only" shipment of free iHealth Covid-19 testing kits. These kits have an expiration date of January 4, 2024. The packaging is different this time: Each box contains 5 test kits instead of the usual 2. This means that we have only about 70 boxes to distribute, but each box has more tests. We cannot open the test kits and repackage them, as this can lead to contamination of the contents. The test kits will be limited to one box per family as long as they last, so take them only if you need them. The test kits will be distributed this Sunday during the Good Neighbors program at the town hall. The tests will be divided in half so each shift of clients has equal access. Any leftover boxes will be distributed the following Sunday.

Please remember that if you have not already done so, you can order free test kits at covidtests.gov to be delivered to your home. Also, if you receive dental or health care services from the Community Health Center of Franklin County, you may get free test kits at their locations.

Vaccination reminders

If you have not yet received your vaccinations for Covid-19, flu or RSV, try to get them by the end of this month. All 3 of these respiratory viruses are circulating at the same time, and we are approaching the peak season, which is usually near the end of November. The flu vaccine is recommended for those ages 6 months -17 years and for all adults. Last year the CDC reports that less than 42% of children were vaccinated, and the flu season for children and adolescents was severe. The RSV vaccine is recommended for adults over 60 and for pregnant women. Consult your primary care provider for advice about this vaccine.

Vaccines are widely available at pharmacies, community health centers and doctors’ offices. Pharmacies usually require an appointment, which can be scheduled on their websites. You may choose to receive more than one vaccine at a time.

At-home vaccinations

These are available for anyone, including children, who have difficulty getting to or using a community vaccination location. Call the In-Home Vaccination Central Intake Line at
*833-983-0485. Representatives are on call Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5p.m. Vaccinations will be scheduled within a week of request and will be administered by fully vaccinated medical professionals.

If you need transportation only and are 60+ *and *a member of Village Neighbors, you can arrange a ride at servicerequests@villageneighbors.org. Call 413-345-6894 for more information about how to join and other services that are available.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Barbara Craddock for the Wendell Board of Health

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