Board of Health Update

Protect Yourself

June 18, 2020

As the Commonwealth continues to reopen, everyone resumes more activities, and more visitors arrive in our beautiful town, it is especially important for you to protect yourself and your loved ones from contracting the virus that causes COVID-19. A great way to stay safe as your exposure to others increases is to evaluate the safety of your activity.

Consider these things before heading out:

  • The number of people who will be with you.
  • How cautious those people are about their exposure to COVID-19.
  • The amount of time you will be together.
  • Whether everyone will be wearing masks or facial coverings.
  • How well you will be able to maintain six feet of social distancing.
  • The physical location where you will be together.

You are SAFER when:

  • The group size is ten people or less.
  • Your time together is short.
  • Everyone is wearing a mask or facial covering.
  • You are able to stay six feet apart all or most of the time.
  • You will be outdoors, in fresh air, and away from ventilation exhaust from the interior of buildings.

If you think you may have been exposed to the virus, or you may have done something that puts you at higher risk than normal—such as attending a mass gathering—get a test.

FREE testing is available now in Greenfield and Orange. Call 413-325-8501 or go to to register.

When is this virus going to be over?

Well, the truth is, we don’t know. And that uncertainty is unsettling and scary. We get it. We experience social distancing fatigue some days, too. To help get through what may likely become many more months of taking COVID-19 precautions, try some or all of these suggestions when you feel low:

Structure your day. Find things to do to occupy your time and mind so you won’t be preoccupied with thoughts of how things used to be.

Take good care of yourself. Eating and sleeping well helps boost your immune system, and a strong immune system is a great defense against this tenacious virus.

Appreciate what has NOT changed through this crisis. This can be something as simple as the emergence of spring, a fly on the window, or the song of a bird.

Meditate or do yoga. Is that too ‘out there’ for you? Then just try breathing in deeply for a count of two and breathing out for a count of four. Repeat that several times for one session. Do as many sessions as needed throughout the day.

Remember that this is social distancing, not emotional distancing. Stay connected with loved ones using video calling or texting.

Ask for help when you feel overwhelmed. Some days you may just need to talk about your troubles. Here’s how you can get help 24/7, 365 days of the year:

  • Call 211 or the Massachusetts Emergency Services Program at 1-877-382-1609.
  • Call or text the Samaritans helpline at 1-877-870-4673.
  • Contact the Crisis Text line by texting HOME to 741741.
  • Contact SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline by calling 1-800-985-5990 or texting TalkWithUs to 66746.