Health Commissioner Sigalle Reiss and the Brookline Department of Public Health and Human Services share that, in alignment with the end of the federal public health emergency, the Healey-Driscoll Administration has announced that the Massachusetts CoViD-19 public health emergency was lifted on May 11, 2023.
While the public health emergency has concluded, Brookline health officials are continuing to monitor the impact of the virus in the community and take steps to support prevention and treatment.
VaxinateRX, in combination with the Brookline Department of Public Health and Human Services and the Brookline Senior Center, will host two CoViD-19 vaccine clinics for residents ages 65+ to receive their additional bivalent mRNA vaccine dose. The clinics will be hosted on Thursday, May 25, 2023, at Town Hall, 333 Washington Street, Brookline, MA 02445, from 04:00 – 06:00 p.m., and on Monday, June 05, 2023, at the Brookline Senior Center Ballroom, 93 Winchester Street, Brookline, MA 02446, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Please bring your CoViD-19 and medical insurance cards to your appointment. Registration is required. To register for the clinic at Town Hall, click here. To register for the clinic at the Senior Center, click here.
The Department continues to maintain a small supply of home antigen CoViD-19 test kits with an extended expiration date of September 28, 2023, and will continue to work with the Brookline Public Libraries and other community partners to distribute these kits throughout the summer.
On March 10, 2020, former Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency which gave the Administration more flexibility to respond to the outbreak. The emergency status, which was updated on May 28, 2021, allowed the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Commissioner to take actions that promoted CoViD-19 testing and vaccination sites, maintained surveillance, and worked to protect vulnerable populations at higher risk of severe disease.
“It is amazing to look back over these three years and understand the knowledge gained and resources acquired to combat this virus. We have a highly effective vaccine, improved knowledge of the virus and a better understanding of who is at higher risk and how we can protect those at risk,” said Commissioner Reiss. “I want to thank the staff at the Brookline Department of Public Health and Human Services for their continued dedication and hard work to protect our community.”
Throughout the pandemic, the Brookline Department of Public Health and Human Services took many actions to ensure the health and safety of the community. Between February 2021 and April 2023, the Department organized more than 60 CoViD-19 vaccine clinics for the community.
The Health Department worked with numerous community partners in an effort to reach all corners of Brookline and provide equitable access to vaccines. To improve access to vaccines, clinics were held in a variety of locations throughout Brookline, including many public schools, Brookline Housing Authority facilities, the Senior Center, the Public Safety Building, Town Hall, and the Public Health Building. Additionally, the Health Department administered 102 doses of the CoViD-19 vaccine to homebound residents through the support of MRC volunteers.
Other actions taken included:
- Consulting with the Advisory Council on Public Health and Expert Advisory Panel 4 to implement mask mandates.
- Prioritizing contact tracing and CoViD-19 case investigation by providing isolation and quarantine guidance to confirmed and probable CoViD-19 cases in Brookline.
- Scheduling PCR testing sites in collaboration with Coastal Emergency Medical Services.
- Creating a CoViD-19 data dashboard to provide weekly updates regarding case counts, deaths, vaccination rates, and testing.
- Opening and staffing an Emergency Call Center in coordination with the Office of Emergency Management.
- Facilitating distribution of over 65,000 home antigen CoViD-19 test kits to community partners and individuals including PSB, the Brookline Senior Center, the Brookline Housing Authority, Brookline Public Libraries, Brookline Police, Fire, and Town Hall employees, Brookline businesses and childcare centers.
While the state of emergency is ending, it remains crucial to protect yourself and those most vulnerable to severe disease from CoViD-19. The best way to do this is by remaining up to date on vaccines.
Vaccination recommendations were recently simplified as of April 18, 2023. The older monovalent vaccines are no longer authorized for use in the United States and those at higher risk may need additional doses. Please consult your medical provider to determine if additional doses of the bivalent vaccine are needed. People ages six years and older who are unvaccinated or previously received only monovalent vaccine doses are recommended to receive one bivalent mRNA vaccine dose, and people ages 65 years and older may receive one additional bivalent mRNA vaccine dose (second booster).