Latest Updates

Page last updated: 1/21/22

Latest COVID-19 Briefing: 1/20/22 

Latest COVID-19 Update 1/19/22: Presentation and Recording

Archives:

What's New on the Site? Look for items marked **

Note: Many of our links bring you to UpToDate, high quality content intended for practicing clinicians, made freely available by the publisher for COVID-19 information only

Tufts Medical Center now has a supply of the oral antiviral Paxlovid.

Please refer high risk patients to the Respiratory Infection Clinic for evaluation for treatment (617-636-3164).

Prescribing though Tufts Medical Center Atrium 3 Outpatient Pharmacy

 

COVID-19 Answer Center for Wellforce CIN Clinicians and Practice Personnel

Wellforce CIN Clinicians and practice personnel may use this form (OR call (781) 664-5705) to ask question(s). This is NOT a resource for patients to use directly. Our Pharmacy team will do its best to answer questions as soon as received.

  • Hours: Monday-Friday; 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Weekends/holidays will be answered the next business day
Click here to read the Answer Center's most frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Diagnostic Testing 

UpToDate Resource: COVID-19 Testing

Differential Diagnosis: testing for other respiratory virus infections including flu

Commercial test kits are available that detect COVID-19 along with other respiratory pathogens. (NB: Detection of another pathogen does not rule out COVID-19 infection.)

 

Test Location Finders

About Free at-home COVID-19 tests from the US Government

PCR/NAAT (Molecular testing)

Rapid Antigen

  • NEJM clinical review on antigen testing
  • UpToDate Resource:  antigen testing for COVID-19 diagnosis
  • Key Points on Use of Antigen Testing for COVID-19 (especially At Home Testing)
  • Ordering Rapid Antigen tests through the State DPH
    • Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is making BinaxNOW rapid test kits available for use in all provider settings. You may order tests now by filling out this form and emailing the completed form to COVID19.Resource.Request [at] mass.gov (). Delivery timelines may vary based on DPH delivery capacity. Clinicians should generally expect to receive requested test kits within 1 week of a request being submitted. 
  • Private Healthcare Providers are now eligible to order tests through the Operational Services Division Click here for purchasing information.

Test Location Finders

Treatment

 

Outpatient IV Treatments

  • Monoclonal antibodies:

  • IV Remdesivir

  • Treatments available:

    • Through Tufts Med Ctr Resp Infec Clinic: 617-636-3164
    • At state contracted sites run by Gothams (See orange tab below: State Sites for IV treatments and oral antiviral distribution)

Oral antivirals

Additional Locations

  • Athol, Everett, Holyoke, Fall River, Lowell, Pittsfield and Plymouth
  • Sites respond within 12-18hrs to schedule, bolded schedules appts within 24hrs
  • Provide care for patients 8am-7pm Monday through Sunday. 
  • Please note that these treatment facilities and all medications provided are available through a Massachusetts Department of Public Health initiative and patients will not be charged for services. 
  • Updated referral form, subject to further changes when oral antivirals acquired

When the FDA approves a drug, it means the agency has determined, based on substantial evidence, that the drug is effective for its intended use and that the benefits of the drug outweigh its risks when used according to the product’s approved labeling. The FDA can also allow drugs to be used during times of extreme need under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

Under EUA, “the FDA makes a product available to the public based on the best available evidence, without waiting for all the evidence that would be needed for FDA approval or clearance.” This is a temporary authorization to use a drug for a specific indication and can be revoked or revised by the FDA at any time.

When the emergency has been deemed to be over, the EUA ends. Additionally, medications cannot be used for “off-label” indications under EUA like they can when they are formally approved. Please see the FDA for more details: Understanding the Regulatory Terminology of Potential Preventions and Treatments for COVID-19.

Drug-Drug Interaction Guidance for COVID oral treatment options:

  • Ensure the patients medication list is up-to-date and accurate
  • Wellforce Pharmacy contacts for questions regarding drug-drug interactions
    • Contact Tufts Atrium 3 Outpatient Pharmacy via phone: (617) 636-5381
    • Contact Wellforce CIN Answer Center via form or phone: (781) 664-5705
  • New oral COVID treatment options (such as Paxlovid) may not have been added to the EMR drug database yet, in which case the medication would need to be written as a custom drug and can not be e-prescribed….therefore a drug-drug interaction check would NOT be conducted via EMR
  • The Oral Antivirals For Treatment of COVID-19 guide is available on the Tufts website under Education (see link)
    • Appendix 1 on pages 5-8 list drug interactions to consider when prescribing Paxlovid and clinical comments
    • **Prescribers are encouraged to consult with a pharmacist PRIOR to prescribing Paxlovid to evaluate for drug interactions

Epidemiology/Transmission

Sequelae/Complications

    Communication Samples and Templates

    Practice Templates

    Telehealth Materials

    Clinician Wellbeing 

    COVID-19 Activity Statistics and Info Websites

    Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH)