Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Recently, a new coronavirus—2019 Novel Coronavirus—was detected in Wuhan, China. This coronavirus causes a respiratory (lung) infection. To date, there have been no confirmed cases of this coronavirus in Massachusetts. At this time, the risk to residents in Massachusetts is low.

As of January 31 at 11:30am EST, there have been 6 confirmed cases in the United States:

  • 1 confirmed case in AZ

  • 2 confirmed cases in CA

  • 2 confirmed cases in IL

  • 1 confirmed case in WA

Imported cases of the new coronavirus infection in people have been detected in the U.S. While person-to-person spread among close contacts has been detected with this virus, at this time this virus is NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States.

For the most updated numbers, please visit

Summer 2020 MDPH Local Health Internship Program

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Epidemiology Program is soliciting project proposals from Local Boards of Health wishing to host interns through the Summer 2020 Local Health Internship Program. This program has been highly successful over the past decade in placing graduate level public health students with local health departments to assist with a wide variety of projects via a summer internship. MDPH knows how challenging work in Local Health can be – hosting an intern may be an ideal way to catch up or start new projects that will improve the health of your community. Students matched to health departments typically begin their projects in late May and conclude in mid-August.

The application for Local Boards of Health to host an intern is now online! Please be sure to complete the form below before the February 7th, 2020 deadline .

2020 Local Health Internship Host Application Form

2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019 nCoV0)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in more than 200 confirmed human infections in China and exported cases in Thailandexternal icon, Japanexternal icon, and South Koreaexternal icon. The outbreak in Wuhan, China has been linked to a large seafood and animal market, suggesting a possible zoonotic origin to the outbreak. There are ongoing investigations to learn more. A CDC website has been established and is being updated daily at

Public Health Council Approves Regulations Restricting Access to Vaping and Tobacco Products

BOSTON (December 11, 2019) —The state’s Public Health Council today approved new regulations that restrict the sale of nicotine vaping and flavored vaping and tobacco products. This action follows the Legislature’s passing and Governor Charlie Baker’s signing into law An Act Modernizing Tobacco Control, which provided the Massachusetts Department of Public Health with additional authority to regulate access to tobacco and electronic nicotine delivery systems, including vapes. With today’s actions, the Governor’s temporary statewide ban on the sale of vaping products in place since September is no longer in effect.

To read the full press release please click Here

Public Health Planning Toolkit for At-Risk Individuals with Access and Functional Needs

The Public Health Planning Toolkit for At- Risk Individuals with Access and Functional Needs is a compilation of resources, geared toward local public health planners, to assist in public health preparedness planning for individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.

A link to the Public Health Planning Toolkit can be found here

MRPC September Stakeholder Meeting

On Wednesday, September 11th the MRPC held it’s first stakeholder meeting of the grant year from 1:30-3:30 at the Rosemary Recreation Complex in Needham. This stakeholder meeting featured key and emerging emergency preparedness topics and presentations. Presentations available from the conference can be found below:


-EEE and Other Hot Topics in Massachusetts Public Health

Dr. Larry Madoff, Medical Director of the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences, MDPH

Presentation Link

-The Realities of New England Hurricanes: Presentation and Q&A

Matthew Belk, NOAA

Presentation Link

Hurricane Preparedness Resources

National Healthcare Coalition Preparedness Conference 2019

This year the 2019 National Healthcare Coalition Preparedness Conference will take place at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston from December 2-5. This years conference provides opportunities for attendees to:

  • Networking with peers from across a variety of professional fields

  • Learning best practices from experts in the healthcare arena

  • Access to vendors with unique insight into emergency preparedness

  • Educational and actionable sessions that provide a leading edge for your organization

  • A shared wealth of lessons learned and data gathered

  • Enjoy Houston and all our beautiful host city has to offer

  • Experience workshops with up to date techniques and information

For more information please visit the NHCPC Website

State public health officials announce four confirmed cases of EEE in horses

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced that laboratory testing has confirmed four new cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus infection in horses from Holliston, Medfield, Brookfield and Granby, bringing the total number of horse cases of EEE to seven in Massachusetts this year. As a result, the risk level in Holliston, Medfield, Brookfield and Granby has been raised to critical and in Belchertown, Brimfield, Chicopee, East Brookfield, Ludlow, Medway, Millis, North Brookfield, Sherborn, South Hadley, Sturbridge, Walpole, and West Brookfield the risk level has been raised to high.

To read the full press release please visit the website

July 14-20 Massachusetts Hurricane Preparedness Week

       Governor Baker Proclaims “Hurricane Preparedness Week”

Residents Encouraged to Prepare Now

FRAMINGHAM – Governor Charlie Baker has proclaimed July 14-20, 2019, to be Hurricane Preparedness Week to emphasize the Commonwealth’s vulnerability to tropical storms and hurricanes and the importance of preparing for the potential impacts on the state’s residents, homes, businesses and infrastructure.

“Planning in advance for a tropical storm or hurricane will help mitigate damage to your property, better protect your family and reduce the burden on public safety personnel in an emergency situation,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration encourages residents in every region of the Commonwealth to develop an emergency plan, prepare emergency supplies and stay informed throughout hurricane season.”

“Our administration is committed to working with cities and towns across the Commonwealth to enhance their readiness and raise awareness before the next hurricane or tropical storm,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We join MEMA in encouraging all residents to take the time to prepare in advance for this hurricane season.”

“While it’s been many years since we’ve seen a hurricane in New England, it only takes one storm to cause major damage,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Thomas Turco, “Atlantic hurricanes that have hit states and territories in the Southeast are reminders of the devastation caused by hurricanes and tropical storms.”

“We encourage all residents to prepare for the impacts of a tropical storm or hurricane,” said MEMA Director Samantha Phillips. “Tropical systems can cause storm surge in coastal areas and heavy inland rainfall, flooding, and destructive winds in all parts of the state.”

Know Your Evacuation Zone

Massachusetts has established hurricane evacuation zones in each of the state’s coastal communities.  These zones, designated as Zone A, Zone B and Zone C, identify the areas of coastal communities that are at risk for storm surge flooding from tropical storms or hurricanes. If evacuations are necessary because of an approaching tropical storm or hurricane, local or state officials will use the hurricane evacuation zones to call for people living, working or vacationing in these areas to evacuate. Find out if you live, work or vacation in a hurricane evacuation zone by visiting the ‘Know Your Zone’ interactive map located on MEMA’s website at

Make an Emergency Plan

It’s important to have plans in case your family needs to take action before or during a storm:

  • Communications Plan — Create a family communications plan so you can stay in touch and find each other in an emergency. 

  • Evacuation Plan — Create a family evacuation plan that details where you will go, how you will get there, what you will bring, and what you will do with your pets. 

  • Shelter-in-Place Plan — Make sure your family has a plan to shelter in place, which includes stockpiling items you will need to stay comfortable while you are at home. Be prepared to shelter in place for at least 72 hours. 

Make sure your emergency plans address the needs of all of your family members, including seniors, children, individuals with access and functional needs, and pets.

Build an Emergency Kit

Hurricanes can cause extended power outages, flooding, and blocked roads. You should have an emergency kit to sustain yourself and your family for at least 72 hours in case you lose power, are stranded in your home, or nearby stores are closed or damaged. While it is important to customize your kit to meet your family’s unique needs, every emergency kit should include bottled water, food, a flashlight, a radio and extra batteries, a first aid kit, sanitation items, clothing, cash and a charged cell phone. Depending on your family’s needs, emergency kits should also include medications, extra eyeglasses, medical equipment and supplies, children’s items such as diapers and formula, food and supplies for pets and service animals, and other items you or your family members might need during a disaster.

Stay Informed

As a storm approaches, monitor media reports and follow instructions from public safety officials with these tools:

  • Local Emergency Notification Systems — Check with your local emergency management director to see if your community uses an emergency notification system and how to enroll.

  • Social Media — Follow your local public safety agencies on social media and MEMA on Twitter (@MassEMA) and Facebook for emergency updates during hurricanes

  • Mass 2-1-1 — Mass 2-1-1 is the state non-emergency call center for disasters. Call 2-1-1 to find out about shelter locations, travel restrictions, disaster assistance programs, and more. Mass 2-1-1 is free and available 24/7.

For more information, visit the Hurricane Safety Tips section of MEMA’s website at

Continue to follow MEMA updates on Twitter at; Facebook at; YouTube


2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins

MEMA- June 1st marked the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season which runs through November 30th. While the majority of tropical storms and hurricanes that have impacted New England occurred during the months of August and September, now is the time to begin preparing yourself, your family, your home, and your business. Throughout hurricane season, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) will share preparedness information to help residents be aware of, and prepare for, the impacts of tropical storms and hurricanes. To learn more about the hazards associated with hurricanes and tropical storms, visit MEMA’s hurricane webpage:


MRPC June Stakeholder Meeting

On Wednesday, June 12th the MRPC held its annual year-in-review stakeholder meeting from 10:00-2:00 at the Mass Medical Society. This half day conference featured key and emerging emergency preparedness topics and presentations. Presentations available from the conference can be found below:


-Public Health Preparedness: Leveraging Partnerships to Strengthen Medical Countermeasures Dispensing Capability

Garrett Simonsen- Region 4AB Public Health Emergency Preparedness Planner

Presentation Link

-Metro Regional Preparedness Coalition- Year-In-Review

Jendy Dunlop, MPH, CHEP- Program manager

Tyler Bonaccorsi- Planning and Operations Coordinator

Presentation Link

-Clinical Co-Responder Program

Megan Scott- Crisis Clinician Aspire Health Alliance

South Shore Health System:

Patrick McGovern- EMS Field Supervisor/Education Coordinator Paramedic Services

James Polk- EMT-A

Michelle Rzasa- EMT-P

Presentation Link

-Merrimack Valley Explosions- Lessons Learned

Jon Brickett- Executive Director Northeast EMS Region 3

Joanne Belanger-Director, Greater River Valley Medical Reserve Corps. Assistant Director of Public Health, Andover

Daniel Witts- Planning & Operations Coordinator, Region 3 HMCC

Hot Topics for Preparedness

On Wednesday, May 8th the MRPC in partnership with the Metro Boston EMS Council hosted a conference from 8:30-4:30 at the Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy. This full day, multidisciplinary conference featured key and emerging emergency preparedness topics and presentations. Presentations available from the conference can be found below:


-Metro Regional Preparedness Coalition- Who are We?

Jendy Dunlop, MPH, CHEP- Program manager

Tyler Bonaccorsi- Planning and Operations Coordinator

Presentation Link

-Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions- Lessons Learned

Mikael Main, MS- Regional Manager MEMA Region 1

Paul Brennan, NRP, CHEC- Emergency Preparedness Manager, Director EMS- Lawrence General Hospital

Presentation Link

-Fentanyl Exposures- Facts and Myths

Edward W Boyer, MD PhD- Director of Research and Academic Development, Department of Emergency Medicine- Brigham and Women’s Hospital

-High Consequence Infectious Disease/Bio threat Program

Eileen Searle, MPH, MS, RN/NP AGPCNP-BC- Mass General Hospital

Stefanie Lane, MPH, MS- Mass General Hospital

Presentation Link

-The impact of “Trauma” on First Responders

Marlene Kenney, LICSW- MA Coordinator, Trauma and Loss Counseling Service- Riverside Trauma Center

Most Measles Cases in 25 Years: Is This the End of Measles Elimination in the United States?

As measles cases continue to climb in the United States the CDC has elected to host an upcoming clinical outreach and communication activity (COCA) call. The webinar is designed to help clinicians learn what makes 2019 a historic year for measles, and what they can do to help identify cases and stop measles transmission. This COCA will be a one hour scheduled to take place on Tuesday, May 21st from 2:00-3:00pm with continuing education available. For more information please see below:


Hot Topics For Preparedness

"Hot Topics For Preparedness" Conference that will take place on Wednesday, May 8th, from 8:30 am-4:30 pm at the Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy. This full day, multidisciplinary conference will feature key and emerging emergency preparedness topics and presentations and is open to MRPC Stakeholders as well as hospital emergency department staff, Ambulatory Care Facilities, EMS, Police and Fire. The conference is sponsored by the MRPC and is a joint planning effort of the MRPC and the Metro Boston EMS Council.