COVID-19/Coronavirus Information

What to expect when visiting SBCHC for in-person appointments

Thank you for trusting South Boston Community Health Center to care for you and your family. Please know that we continue to monitor and follow the best guidance from the Boston Public Health Commission, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control regarding COVID-19.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19, we have certain measures in place to keep the health center safe for you and your family. Some things to know about your visits to our 409 West Broadway or 386 West Broadway locations (505 Congress Street location is temporarily closed):

  1. Appointments are required for most visits, including Radiology and COVID-19 Testing.
    To limit waiting times and enforce social distancing, please call us at 617-269-7500 to make an appointment for all services except for Lab and Pharmacy. We have availability and can help you to schedule a time that is most convenient to you. For Lab and Pharmacy services, you can walk in during normal operating hours.
  2. It is important to arrive on time.
    Arriving on time will help us to manage the number of people in each department at any given time. Our goal is to treat you without adding any unnecessary exposure for you and our staff. Check-in for your visit ahead of time for a faster experience on-site. eCheck-in allows you to complete necessary tasks in advance of your visit, including verifying your demographics and paying your copay.
  3. Please avoid bringing anyone with you to your visit if possible.
  4. Masks are required at all times, in all locations, while visiting the Health Center.
    Please wear face coverings as you travel to the health center. When you arrive, we will give you (and your child, if you are here for a pediatric appointment) a hospital-grade face mask to wear inside the building. You should wear this mask at all times.
  5. All patients will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. 
    Just as all SBCHC employees are screened daily, all patients entering the health center will be screened for symptoms of illness on arrival. One of our staff will ask you if you have had symptoms or been exposed to anyone with COVID-19.

 

Timeline of COVID-19 Updates

January 1, 2021

 

COVID-19 Tests available for every American household

The Biden Administration has made free at-home COVID-19 rapid tests available to all residents through a new web-based ordering platform. Each household is entitled to 4 testing kits through this program. These rapid antigen at-home tests can be ordered from the U.S. Post Office here.

 

December 30, 2021

COVID Testing Update - Antigen ("rapid") tests only; No more PCR testing.

Antigen (or “rapid”) tests have become the best way to detect contagiousness in patients. So, if you are symptomatic or have been exposed to a positive infection, this is the type of test you need.

As of January 4, 2022, South Boston Community Health Center is no longer providing PCR testing for COVID-19. Instead, we are booking appointments for you to pick up one antigen test kit to bring home. Each kit includes 2 antigen (“rapid”) tests.

These rapid tests are distributed by appointment only. We will not accommodate walk-ins.

To schedule an appointment to pick up an antigen test kit, click here.

Patients still seeking PCR testing should visit mass.gov or Project Beacon for other COVID-19 testing locations.

 

December 20, 2021

COVID Testing Update - No Testing Appointments Available for Travel Purposes

Due to extraordinary demand for COVID testing, we are only able to test patients for COVID-19 who have symptoms or a known exposure to an infected individual.

We are not testing anyone for travel requirements as of December 20, 2021. Travelers seeking COVID tests should visit mass.gov or Project Beacon for other COVID testing locations in Massachusetts.

 

December 2, 2021

COVID Testing Update - PCR Test Results Unavailable

Between 12/2/2021 and 12/16/2021, SBCHC cannot provide COVID-19 testing for travel purposes. This is temporary until December 16th. It applies to both established and non-SBCHC patients.

We cannot provide COVID tests for travel until December 16th because:

  • Our lab only has TMA tests in stock, not PCR tests, which is what most airlines request.
  • TMA testing is medically equivalent to PCR. However, some airlines and international destinations only accept RT-PCR tests.
    • PCR and TMA tests are both NAAT tests (nucleic acid amplification tests) which are more sensitive and specific than antigen (“rapid”) tests.

​​
For more information on NAAT tests, visit the CDC website.

To find other testing locations offering PCR tests, visit Project Beacon or mass.gov.

 

July 23, 2021

COVID Testing Update - Access Limited

We are testing patients for COVID-19 who have symptoms or who have been exposed to a person infected with COVID-19. If you are an established patient at the health center, we will also test you for travel, work, or school requirements. However, we have limited that type of testing to SBCHC patients only. All others should visit www.mass.gov or Project Beacon for other COVID testing locations.

 

January 28, 2021

COVID Vaccine Update

SBCHC is excited to be part of the state-wide effort to vaccinate Massachusetts residents!  Please visit our vaccination page for the most up-to-date information.

We also continue to offer testing to patients and non-patients who are experiencing symptoms or have known exposure to Covid-19. If you are symptomatic or have been exposed, please call us at 617-269-7500 to make an appointment to be tested.

 

December 8, 2020

Testing Update

In order to maintain a safe level of supplies and to decrease turnaround time for testing, SBCHC will ONLY be offering testing for patients and non-patients who are symptomatic or have known Covid-19 exposure. We will not be offering testing for travel purposes.
If you would like to be tested for travel purposes, you can either search for public testing sessions, or you can visit the City of Boston testing page to find alternative testing locations.

If you are symptomatic or have been exposed, please call us at 617-269-7500 to make an appointment to be tested.

 

 

October 23, 2020

Requesting Medical Records during COVID-19

To limit unnecessary exposure to visitors and staff, we are temporarily restricting on-site access to the Medical Records department. Please call 617-464-7540 to request a copy of your records, or e-mail, fax, or mail the necessary form (found on our Medical Records webpage) to intiate a request. Walk-ins will not be accomodated at this time.

 

June 17, 2020

What to expect when visiting SBCHC for adult or pediatric appointments

Thank you for trusting South Boston Community Health Center to care for you and your family. Please know that we continue to monitor and follow the best guidance from the Boston Public Health Commission, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control regarding COVID19. At our health center, we are taking all of the necessary steps to keep you and your families healthy.

We follow strict infection control recommendations and to further reduce the risk of Covid-19, we have added additional measures to keep the health center safe for you and your family. Some things to know:

1.  Appointments are required

 

To limit waiting times and enforce social distancing, all visits must be by appointment only - including Radiology and Lab services. We have availability and can help you to schedule a time that is most convenient to you. Please call us at 617-269-7500 for assistance.

2.   It is important to arrive on time

 

Arriving on time will help us to manage the number of people in each department at any given time. Our goal is to treat you without adding any unnecessary expose for you and our staff. Please build in time to register at the front lobby when you arrive.

3.   Only one adult visitor may accompany a patient, with an exception for children under 6 or those with special needs who require additional assistance.

 

4.  Masks are necessary at all times, in all locations.

Please wear face coverings as you travel to the health center. When you arrive, we will give you (and your child if you are here for a pediatric appointment) a hospital-grade face masks to wear inside the building. You should wear this mask at all times.

 

5.   All visitors will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.

Just as all SBCHC employees are screened daily, anyone entering the health center will be screened for symptoms of illness on arrival. One of our staff will ask you if you have had symptoms or been exposed to anyone with COVID-19.

 

Schedule a virtual visit

SBCHC also offers telemedicine visits. Telemedicine (or Telehealth) allows you and your provider to have a medical or behavioral health visit without having to leave your home. Your visit will take place through a secure video chat or over the phone. A virtual visit is important to help maintain your ongoing health and to be able to address issues that may arise without having to expose yourself to others.

Ask your provider if a telemedicine visit might be right for you. Learn more about a telemedia visit: Telemedicine at SBCHC

 

 

May 19, 2020

In compliance with guidelines released by the Department of Public Health (DPH) on May 18th, SBCHC is only allowing companions to accompany patients to their on-site visits in special circumstances and when necessary for the patient’s well-being. These circumstances and populations may include end-of-life care, prenatal care, pediatric patients, behavioral health patients, patients with intellectual or developmental disabilities, or patients with physical disabilities.

 

May 18, 2020

You may have heard the alerts in the news recently regarding an inflammatory syndrome in a small number of children. It appears to be related to COVID-19, and affects multiple organs in the body. For more information about the syndrome and information about mask recommendations for children, click on the links below:

Boston Childrens Hospital

Masks and Children

 

May 14, 2020

In addition to our regular testing, we are now offering drive-through testing in the rear parking lot at our 409 West Broadway location. Right now, the drive-through testing is for SBCHC patients who may be experiencing symptoms or suspect they may have been exposed to Covid-19. The drive-through service is being offered from 2:00pm to 4:00pm, Monday through Friday.

At our current testing capacity, we are offering this to SBCHC patients BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. You cannot just show up wanting to be tested. Instead, if you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms, please call us at 617-269-7500 to speak to a clinician and to schedule a time for your drive-through testing appointment.

 

April 30, 2020

We are closely following the spread of the respiratory disease COVID-19/Coronavirus.  Because the situation changes every day, please click on the links below for the most updated information:

 

At SBCHC, we are open, staffed, and here for you and your family. All South Boston Health/Seaport patients are currently being seen at South Boston Community Health Center as well.

We continue to monitor and follow the best guidance from the Boston Public Health Commission, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control regarding COVID19. At our health center, we are taking all of the necessary steps to keep you and your families healthy.

As you all know, one of the most important control measures, besides hand hygiene and cough etiquette, is social distancing. It is imperative that you stay home as much as possible and avoid any crowds or crowded environments. Governor Baker has recently announced that the current stay-at-home advisory and non-essential business closure has been extended to May 18th.

At SBCHC we are screening all requests for non-urgent patient visits and converting as many of them as we can to telehealth visits. Our providers and nurses are working with our patients to meet as many of their needs as possible without requiring a visit to the health center. If you would like to schedule a Telehealth visit, contact the health center at 617-269-7500. You can also review the instructions for Telehealth visits on this site.

Our Dental and Eye Care Departments are open for patients with urgent needs but you must first call the health center before coming in.

We have greeters at the entrance screening all patients and visitors for possible illness. Staff are screened daily for exposure. All those who enter the health center, including staff, patients and visitors are given a mask that must be worn at all times.

For patients who must be seen, we have divided up the health center into separate clinical spaces. We have a department handling all patients who exhibit flu/coronavirus/upper respiratory symptoms. Those patients go to a clinic where are directed to an exam room immediately. This minimizes potential exposure of patients and staff.

All other patients who need to be seen with other health issues go to a separate clinical area, where their health issues are addressed.

We also have cut down on the number of patients scheduled.  Patients are placed in clean exam rooms immediately upon departmental arrival, so they do not spend much time in the waiting room and the waiting room is not crowded.

Clinical staff is being rotated to minimize number of staff on site and many of our other staff are working from home.Our building services staff is continuously disinfecting all surfaces that are frequently touched. Our staff are wearing masks and gowns and other protective equipment as appropriate and are practicing strict hand washing and hygiene.  We access our situation daily to meet changing needs and conditions.

Our current hours are 9 AM - 5 PM, Monday - Friday and on Saturday from 9 AM - 1:00 PM. All of the public events and classes we host at the health center have been suspended although some will continue to meet online. You can follow our us on social media for the most updated information on classes and groups that meet online.

If you have general questions regarding symptoms, prevention and treatment of the coronavirus, the state of Massachusetts has set up a special number - 211 - where you can call for information. If you would like to receive text alerts from the state, you can text COVIDMA to 888-777. The City of Boston also has a text alert system. If you would like to receive Boston text alerts, you can text BOSCOVID to 888-777.

Stay safe and know that we are here for you if you need us. As always, we are happy to accept new patients who might want to be seen at SBCHC.

 

Symptom Tracker:

Centers for Disease Control

Buoy Health Symptom Tracker

 

PDF icon respiratory-illness-symptoms-chart-coronavirus-flu-cold-allergies-3.pdf

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“I feel that it is a well-oiled machine, with Dr. Brout at South Boston. I just can't say enough good things! They know why I am there without a computer, since everybody knows what is going on with me, all staff. Everybody is on the same page, for a level of healthcare I had never experienced.”
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Behavioral Health
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Family Medicine Patient 2022
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May 2019
Parent of a Pediatric Patient
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2018
Eye Care Patient 2018
“There’s an emphasis on education here. Dr. Chiakpo and Marianna (a nurse in training) provided a lot of background concerning my issue and even brought in diagrams, which I greatly appreciated, since I’m a visual learner. They both gave me space to ask questions on everything. I really appreciated the time they spent with me.”
2018
Family Medicine Patient 2018
“I truly enjoyed the sweetness of Dr. Biffi. She was very detailed in her explanations, and thoroughly checked and re-checked everything. She really impressed me.The assistant was also very good, dedicated, and professional.”
2018
Eye Care Patient 2018
“My ride was late, but Dr. Green waited an hour for me. When I got there, she took me right in, so that was very nice. She gave me a prescription; she actually brought the prescription all the way outside to give it to me, since I had forgotten it. She is excellent! Everyone is very nice and very understanding. I really liked the center; everyone was very cordial to me.””
2018
Adult Medicine Patient 2018