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BULLETIN #1 - Novel Coronavirus Outbreak: Upcoming Events, Telehealth Recommendations, and More

Tuesday, March 10, 2020  
Posted by: Jamie Klufts
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Novel Coronavirus Outbreak: Upcoming Events, Telehealth Recommendations, and More 



Like many of you, we are monitoring the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak very closely. We care deeply about the health and well-being of our members and the clients and communities you serve. We know many of you have questions about disease transmission and treatment, NASW-MA upcoming events, including our Legislative Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD) on March 23 in Boston and Awards Dinner and Symposium 2020 in Framingham April 29 – May 1, as well as telehealth/teletherapy.



  • COVID-19 is generally spread through respiratory secretions (droplets from coughs and sneezes) of an infected person to another person.
  • Stay home if you have influenza-like symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath or if you’ve travelled to countries with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Alert (currently China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy) within the past 14 days.
  • Avoid touching your face (nose, mouth, and eyes), even when it’s hard.
  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds (upgrade your handwashing by singing or humming the chorus to one of these popular songs) or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Although no vaccine for COVID-19 currently exists, Massachusetts health insurers are committed to covering full cost of coronavirus testing, counseling, and treatment.


As of this morning, we have not made a decision to cancel our Legislative Education and Advocacy Day (March 23, 2020) or postpone our Awards Dinner and Symposium 2020 (April 29 – May 1, 2020). The Department of Public Health in Massachusetts states that the risk of transmission in our state remains low. That being said, the Governor is expected to conduct a press conference today (3/10) at 2:00 pm to provide an update on coronavirus preparedness and planning. We are actively exploring the possibility of cancellation or postponement for these events and we will take decisive action as guidance is updated from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Governor Baker. Please visit our website for timely updates on all NASW-MA upcoming events:


You can get daily updates on COVID-19 cases, quarantines, and disease monitoring in Massachusetts here.



For a full list of Massachusetts-specific recommendations and guidance related to telehealth/teletherapy, please visit our website. We will continue to update this as we learn more.


  • Because of the Travel Health Alert issued by the CDC on March 4, we recommend rescheduling or conducting telehealth/teletherapy sessions, if possible, for clients who have travelled to countries with a Level 3 alert (China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy) within the past 14 days.
  • Per the Social Work Licensing Board, regulations generally require that you be licensed in the state where the client is physically located at the time of service. A waiver may be available, but you need to contact the Board in other states to inquire about possible exceptions.
  • If you do not currently provide services in this manner, check with your payers to verify that they will reimburse for services provided this way. 


On Friday, National NASW put out a practice alert for social workers concerned about the spread of COVID-19. This helpful webpage contains reliable information about COVID-19, information on supporting clients, preparing your private practice, prevention measures, impacts on older adults, self-care, and more.


The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should be your go-to resources to remain updated about the novel coronavirus outbreak:

Thank you all for the work that you do to enhance the well-being of clients and communities across Massachusetts.


more Featured Events

Webinar: The Surprising Link Between Brain Science and Strong, Healthy Relationships (1.5 CEUs)

Private Practice Meeting (Nashoba Valley)

National Association of Social Workers - Massachusetts Chapter
11 Beacon Street, Suite 510, Boston MA 02108
tel: (617)227-9635 fax: (617)227-9877 email:
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