City Councilor Ed Flynn and City Councilor At-Large Michael Flaherty filed a hearing order at this week’s Council meeting to discuss the possible creation of a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Registry for first responders and frontline workers. With the long-term health impacts currently unknown to both health professionals and the general public alike, a health registry would allow for city public health officials to track the data and monitor long term effects of COVID-19, as well as providing appropriate resources for those affected by the virus.
COVID-19 is a novel virus, meaning it is new and its long term effects will remain unknown for some time. Our first responders (Boston Police Dept., Boston Fire Dept., Boston EMS), healthcare workers, grocery clerks, custodians and other workers who are at the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic are most exposed to the virus and, as a result, more likely to experience potential long term impacts of COVID-19. Therefore, it is critical that we track the impact the virus has on our frontline workers’ health and wellbeing.
There are various examples of health registries for different events and disasters, such as the World Trade Center Health Registry or the Gulf War Registry for veterans who may have experienced long-term health issues related to environmental exposure. A health registry can conduct surveys and research on those who are enrolled, and would allow public health officials and stakeholders to better understand and assess direct and indirect impact of the virus, and more effectively respond to potential future health complications.
“Our first responders, healthcare workers, grocery clerks, and other essential workers continue to bravely risk their health and serve the public during this pandemic. It’s critical that we provide them the best resources with the long term effects of the virus still unknown,” said Councilor Flynn. “A COVID-19 Health Registry would allow our experts to track this data over the long term and better respond to the future needs of our first responders and frontline workers.”
“Creating a registry that helps us understand and respond to the immediate and long term impacts of COVID-19 will enable us to support the first responders and frontline workers who were there for us non-stop during this pandemic,” said Councilor Flaherty. “We know that the impacts of COVID-19 will continue to be felt for months and years to come and this registry is one of the many ways we can demonstrate that we are grateful for their hard work and dedication during this extraordinarily difficult time.”
For more information, please contact Councilor Flynn’s office at 617-635-3203 and Ed.Flynn@Boston.gov.