Coronavirus (COVID-19) Family Resource Toolkit
At Boston School Finder, we recognize that we are in unprecedented times as our communities must adjust to radical changes to our regular ways of life as we try to slow down the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus. Our mission has always been focused on centralizing easy-to-understand information for families — and remains so even in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
We are compiling resources for families to support you during this time. This page will be continuously updated.
- Page last updated at 12:00 PM on April 21, 2020.
Table of Contents
- COVID-19 Updates
- Critical Support (food, financial, childcare, etc.)
- Home Learning Resources
- School Closure and School Registration Updates
General Updates about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Here is what you need to know about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the City of Boston.
- Text BOSCOVID to 99-411 to receive text alerts in English from the city.
- These texts are now available in six languages. To receive these texts in another language, text the following word to 99-411:
- BOSEspanol for Spanish
- BOSKreyol for Haitian Creole
- BOSFracais for French
- BOSKriolu for Cape Verdean Creole
- BOSPortugues for Portuguese
- BOSSoomali for Somali
- BOSChi for Simplified Chinese
- BOSbilAraby for Arabic
- BOSViet for Vietnamese
- BOSRus for Russian
Here is Information on the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) from the state of Massachusetts.
- Text COVIDMA to 888-777 to receive text alerts in English from the state.
- Text COVIDMAESP to 888-777 for text alerts in Spanish.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
Here is what you need to know about Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States.
- You can also visit www.coronavirus.gov for additional updates and answers to common questions.
If you need medical assistance:
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, dial 9-1-1.
- For all other medical concerns, call your doctor. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.
- Massachusetts has partnered with a company called Buoy Health to create an online COVID-19 Symptom Checker tool. Access the Online Symptom Checker Tool for free in English and Spanish.
- Read more about What To Do if You Are Sick from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
If you need food:
Boston Public Schools will continue to provide free breakfast and lunch meals to all Boston children; you do not have to have a child in BPS schools to access these meals. Locations will be open Monday - Friday from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM at the schools listed here.
- Visit the Free Breakfast & Lunch Locations page for a list of BPS schools were meals can be picked up.
- BPS Meal Site Locations WILL be open during April Vacation Week, from Monday, Apr. 20 to Friday, Apr. 24, from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM each day.
The City of Boston, in partnership with Project Bread, YMCA of Greater Boston, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, and other community organizations, will provide free meals to all youth and teens at various locations and times across the City.
- Visit the Map of Meal Sites page from the City of Boston for more information.
If you need additional food resources:
- Please contact Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at (800) 645-8333.
If you need financial assistance:
Union Capital Boston
If you are in need of financial support due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) either because of school closings or lost wages, Union Capital Boston is offering financial support in the form of UCB Visa gift cards. Union Capital Boston will order Visa gift cards on Friday, March 20 and take 7-10 days to arrive. They will divide the amount on each card evenly based on the amount of money raised.
- To request a gift card please complete this form, available in English and Spanish.
- To donate to the UCB COVID-19 Financial Support Fund, click here.
IRS Economic Impact Payments
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has started sending out Economic Impact Payments in the amount of $1,200 for individuals who are single filers and $2,400 for filers who are married filing jointly. In addition, they are eligible for an additional $500 per qualifying child.
If you need help with housing:
The City of Boston has compiled substantial resources and relief efforts whether you own a home, pay rent, or are experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Learn more about support for homeowners, including mortgage deferral and other mortgage relief efforts.
- Learn more about support for renters, including eviction prevention efforts and the City's Rental Relief Fund.
- Learn more about city-wide support for people experiencing homelessness, also available in Spanish.
If you need childcare:
The Governor of Massachusetts has ordered that ALL center-based child care and family child care programs are closed through June 29, 2020.
Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs are available, but please review the guidelines below:
- Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs: Do not contact an emergency child care program unless you require emergency, back-up, drop-in care. Priority must be given to people including but are not limited to health care workers, essential state and human service workers, COVID-19 health workers, grocery store employees, emergency response personnel, law enforcement, transportation and infrastructure workers, sanitation workers, DCF-involved families, and families living in shelters.
- To slow the spread of the coronavirus, all families should keep children out of group care settings to the greatest extent possible. Emergency Child Care Programs are for when all other non-group-care settings have been exhausted and families have no other options.
- You can find a list of emergency drop-in childcare providers here. (Please note: this list is for the entire state of Massachusetts, not just Boston.) This list will continue to be updated as more programs are approved. Parents will be responsible for reaching out to individual programs.
- For more information, please visit the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care Emergency Guidance webpage.
If you have lost your job:
- If your job has been impacted by COVID-19, please visit the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) to see if you qualify for unemployment benefits. The website is also now available in Spanish.
- If you do not qualify for Massachusetts unemployment benefits, you may qualify for Disaster Unemployment Assistance through the federal government. Please visit their website for more information.
If you need transportation:
- There have been service disruptions due to COVID-19 on public transportation in the City of Boston. Visit the MBTA website for the most current service alerts and updates.
If you are an immigrant or undocumented:
- The City of Boston has a COVID-19 Resource Guide for Boston's Immigrants here.
- The Washington state-based organization Betancourt-Macias Family Scholarship Foundation has compiled a list of many resources if you are undocumented, including both national and resources by state. View their list of Resources for the Undocumented Community here.
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