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Baker-Polito Administration launch free public telehealth program for COVID-19 treatment



BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration, in collaboration with Color Health, today launched a new free telehealth program to help residents more easily access COVID-19 treatment. Through this program, residents 18 years and older who have tested positive for COVID-19 and who are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms are able to undergo a video consultation with a trained health care clinician to determine if they are eligible for Paxlovid, a COVID-19 treatment pill taken orally that can reduce the risk for severe symptoms and hospitalization by nearly 90 percent.

This program can be accessed at and is available in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole and Portuguese.

The COVID-19 telehealth program is a quick, easy and free way for individuals to see if Paxlovid is an appropriate treatment for them. This program is available to all COVID-19 positive individuals 18 years or older who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and currently live in Massachusetts. This program is not for medical emergencies.

“Paxlovid has been shown to be highly effective in treating COVID-19 and can prevent patients from getting seriously ill,” said Dr. Larry Madoff, Medical Director in the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. “This treatment must be started within 5 days of symptoms, so it is essential to speak with a clinician right away. This new telehealth option makes it easier for residents to connect quickly with a clinician and we encourage individuals who test positive to utilize it.”

The telehealth visit consists of a short health intake survey and, if eligible, a video consultation with a health care clinician. During the telehealth visit, similar to an in-person visit with a medical provider, the clinician will review symptoms and risk factors, and determine if Paxlovid treatment is appropriate. If an individual is eligible for the treatment, the clinician will send a prescription to a pharmacy conveniently located for the individual or, if necessary, arrange for free overnight delivery of Paxlovid to an individual’s home.

The program and prescription are free, and residents do not need to have health insurance to access it.

Paxlovid is intended for people 12 and older with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at higher-risk for severe COVID-19, are within 5 days of symptom onset, and have tested positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status. Treatment must begin as soon as possible after testing positive and within five days of symptom onset. Paxlovid can reduce the risk for severe disease progression and hospitalization by nearly 90 percent. Learn more about Paxlovid on the manufacturer’s website, and review the patient and healthcare provider fact sheets for more information.

“Fortunately, we have reached a point in the pandemic where the tools to stay safe and healthy are much more widely available. Those include vaccines first and foremost,” said Dr. Shira Doron, Infectious Disease Physician, Hospital Epidemiologist, Tufts Medical Center. “But now anyone who gets COVID and has even a single risk factor can and should also avail themselves of one of several highly effective treatments, including two oral antiviral medications, of which there is plentiful supply. It is important for the public to know that these treatments are safe and effective at reducing your risk of progressing to severe COVID-19.”

Getting vaccinated and staying up to date on your COVID-19 booster remains the most effective tool to protect yourself against COVID-19 and its variants.

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