Public Health

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Message from the Public Health Department

Widespread vaccination is the most important pathway to ending the pandemic. Everyone age 16 and older is now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage you to learn more and register for a vaccine appointment. 

Scientists are still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking certain precautions. Learn more.


In addition to vaccination, the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are:

  • Wearing a mask when you are around people you don't live with. See the City’s Masks Keep You Healthy guidance. You can read about the state’s updated mask guidance announced on April 27 here and CDC’s easy-to-follow guidance on mask wearing can be found here.
  • Staying 6 feet apart from others not in your household.
  • Avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, especially if you are unvaccinated. See more from the CDC.
  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water.

Information & Guidance

COVID-19 Symptoms, Testing, & Care

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 and how does it spread?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with COVID-19 have experienced a wide range of symptoms , ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. For more information about specific COVID-19 symptoms, including when to call 9-1-1, visit CDC COVID-19 Information.

How can I get tested for COVID-19 in Cambridge?

Testing is available in Cambridge seven days per week. There are several ways that Cambridge residents can get tested for COVID-19. Please visit the City’s dedicated page on COVID-19 testing for information about locations in Cambridge and surrounding communities.


What should I do if I think I have symptoms of COVID-19?

If you or a family member develops symptoms of COVID-19 -- which include fever, sore throat, loss of sense of smell or taste, and shortness or breath, among others -- call your health care provider and tell them about your symptoms and possible exposure to someone with COVID-19. They will decide whether you need to be tested. If your provider thinks you should be tested and cannot do the test on-site, they will make the referral to a testing site near you.

What should I do if I am sick or caring for someone who is sick with COVID-19?

The CDC provides guidance here about what to do if you are sick or caring for someone who is sick, including how to control the spread of COVID-19 and when to call your medical provider or 9-1-1.

Slowing the Spread of COVID-19

How to Protect Yourself & Others

Important Ways to Slow the Spread

Other Tips

Taking Care of Yourself & Loved Ones

How can I support my mental health/wellness & access recovery services?

The pandemic has had a major effect on our lives and our mental health. It is important to remember that everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and that taking care of your mental health is not a sign of weakness.

Here are some things you can do to support yourself. You can learn more on the CDC site.

  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships.
  • Seek help when needed. If distress impacts activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, talk to a counselor, doctor, or clergy member. You can also contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. For Spanish speakers, call 1-800-985-5990 and press "2" or text Hablanos to 66746. Español

Resources on Mental Health, Recovery Services, and Mental Wellness

Virtual Support Meetings

  • Find a list of virtual recovery meetings by time of day and day of week
  • Additional recovery meeting information, online apps, and more can be found on the Grayken Center for Addiction website here.

Additional Information & Resources

Page was posted on 3/18/2020 6:52 PM
Page was last modified on 4/28/2021 2:19 PM
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