Reopening Massachusetts:
More health care services to be offered
With the rate of positive COVID-19 tests and hospitalizations continuing to decline in Massachusetts, the Commonwealth began Phase III of its reopening plan this week. In addition to expanding the types of businesses eligible to reopen and increasing the size of indoor gatherings permitted, Step One of the plan allows for the opening of certain group treatment and day programs such as:

  • Adult day health

  • Day habilitation programs

  • Substance abuse services via day treatment and outpatient means

  • Community-based day services for adults with intellectual and cognitive disabilities

  • Psychosocial rehabilitation clubhouses

Providers can continue to offer the services and procedures authorized in Phase II as well as the expansion provided for in Phase III. Telehealth continues to be prioritized.

The state’s website has more information on reopening health and human services , as well as the other phases of the reopening plan.
Coping with COVID-19
Getting back to business and learning to function in the “new normal”
Even with the launch of Phase III of the Massachusetts reopening plan this week, there remains a long list of requirements and safety precautions businesses need to have in place to keep employees and customers safe. Keeping track of them and understanding how to meet them isn’t a simple matter.

Learning to function in the “new normal” is the subject of the next Worcester Business Journal “Back to business” webcast , which will take place on Wednesday, July 14, at 11:30 a.m. Fallon Health is a presenting sponsor.

The panel for the “Back to business” webcast will feature David Brumley, M.D., Fallon Health’s Vice President of Medical Affairs, and Joseph T. Bartulis Jr., Officer and Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group at Fletcher Tilton PC.

Panelists will address key requirements and legal issues for companies planning for even a reduced level of operations:

  • Standards for a safe workplace, including policies and procedures that you need in place to adapt your workplace into a safe environment

  • Workplace testing and contact tracing, with information on who’s responsible for what

  • How to maintain employee well-being and a positive work environment

  • Communication strategies for supporting your team and understanding their stress points

  • Impact of the pandemic on health care, from employee eligibility, elections and premium payments to maintaining mental health

  • The legal end of COVID-19, understanding employers’/employees’ rights and liabilities

Health and wellness
Set goals you can reach
Reaching a goal—whether it’s related to a hobby or work, a relationship or personal issue, a travel plan or home project, your fitness or health, or something else—takes lasting motivation and action. Making changes in your life isn’t as simple as flicking a switch. It takes time to cultivate change and overcome barriers that could prevent you from being successful.
Make your goal a SMART one
A SMART goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.  Here are some suggestions for using this framework for your own goals. Feel free to share the tips with employees, clients and friends you think would benefit.

  • Pick a general focus, such as improving your health, becoming more active, sleeping better, getting more organized or reducing stress. Then break your goal into more specific steps. For example, if your general goal is “I want to be more physically active,” make it specific: “I will walk for five miles each day.”

  • How will you measure your success as you work toward that goal? Breaking a large goal into small, easy-to-accomplish steps can build your confidence. Measuring your progress will help you stay motivated. In the walking example, you could commit to taking a 20-minute walk every day for one week. Then increase your time by a small amount each week.

  • Make your goal attainable. To do this, attach the new behavior to something you already do every day. For example, “After I have my breakfast, I’ll take a walk.”

  • Your goal and your plan for attaining it should be realistic. Starting small and being consistent can help. For the goal of walking, for instance, it takes time for your muscles to adjust to being more active, especially if you have been inactive. If you overdo it, you may cause injuries, which in turn can prevent you from reaching your goal as planned.

  • Create a schedule with a timeline for reaching your goal. Write it down so you can view your progress. You may want to use a calendar to mark off days you meet your daily goal. Or create a wellness journal to document how you are feeling, what you are successful with, what you are struggling with each day. Another technique is using a written positive affirmation—such as “I am strong” or “I will be happy and successful today”—that you can display somewhere you’re able to see it during the day.

As you work toward your SMART goal, reward yourself along the way. Celebrate even those small accomplishments to help reinforce the positive steps you’re taking.
Fallon’s website offers additional health and wellness information , including a library of wellness flyers .
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.