UPDATES FROM FALLON HEALTH
CDC adds 6 symptoms to list of COVID-19 indicators
As health professionals and researchers have had more opportunity to study coronavirus (COVID-19), they’ve observed more varied symptoms among those affected by the illness.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named six additional symptoms that can be caused by COVID-19:

  • Chills

  • Repeated shaking with chills

  • Muscle pain

  • Headache

  • Sore throat

  • New loss of taste or smell

The CDC previously listed fever, cough and shortness of breath as common symptoms. The CDC website has more information on symptoms and when to seek medical advice .

You can also use Buoy , a free web-based triage tool, to check your symptoms, figure out if you should be tested for COVID-19 and find out about care options available to you.

Buoy is designed to help people who may have COVID-19 get the medical advice and care they need—while keeping those who are not infected safe at home. You can access it directly through these links:


Food insecurity resources
As unemployment numbers rise—in Massachusetts and across the nation—so do numbers of people who are facing hunger. Many who have had hours reduced or have been furloughed or laid off may now need assistance to feed themselves and their families.

Here are some resources to help those dealing with food insecurity. Please share them with your clients and their employees.


  • Greater Boston Food Bank: The Greater Boston Food Bank provides an Agency Locator for food pantries and community meal programs, as well as a list of additional resources.

  • Mass 211: To connect to this statewide human service information and referral platform, call 211 or visit MASS211.org.

  • Project Bread: Callers to confidential Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline (1-800-645-8333) are provided with information about food resources in their community—such as school meals, summer meal sites for kids, elder meals programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. Information is available in 160 languages. The organization also has a webpage that describes how to access food during the pandemic—COVID-19: Hunger & Food Resources for Households.

  • Worcester County Food Bank: Call 1-508-842-3663 or use this Agency Locator to find the nearest food pantry or community meal program.

How Fallon is helping
So far, Fallon Health has committed $100,000 to COVID-19 relief efforts: $25,000 to the Worcester Together Fund, and $75,000  in rapid response grants provided directly to more than 70 organizations supporting food insecurity response efforts and/or senior isolation and support services.
Health and wellness
Staying active while social distancing
It’s important to stay physically active—especially while social distancing—to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Exercise can help you maintain good physical and mental health—and those are both essential in these challenging times.
                                                                    
Try out some of the following tips to start an exercise program and add more activity to your day. Please share them with your employees and anyone else who may benefit.

Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore
Pick an activity you enjoy and do it for a half hour each day. One way of finding time to exercise is by doing 10-minute bursts of activity three times a day—rather than 30 minutes at once.

While gyms and fitness centers remain closed, take advantage of what you can do at home:

  • Dance to your favorite music, do body weight exercises, or stretch.

  • Take an online streaming class. Eligible Fallon members can use their annual It Fits! fitness reimbursement benefit for these (or for purchase of new cardiovascular home fitness equipment).

  • Download an app or use a smart watch to keep track of your activity.

  • Play an active game with family outside.

  • Go up and down the stairs.

  • Garden or do yard work.

  • Do bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups and calf raises.

  • Avoid boredom by taking your daily walk in the opposite direction or finding a new route. Take the dog with you.

  • Create an activity challenge with family members or a friend.

Any form of physical activity can boost your mood, relax your mind and reduce overall stress. Exercise involving repetitive motions, such as walking or running, can be a form of meditation, which provides even more health benefits.

For additional resources, please check out Fallon’s health and wellness flyers and share them with your clients and their employees.
In case you missed it …
Visit our website for previous COVID-19-related messages for employers. We’ve posted PDF versions of the messages for you there.