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Friday, April 10, 2020

Baker-Polito Administration Announces COVID-19 Text Alerts Now Available In Spanish

Baker-Polito Administration Announces COVID-19 Text Alerts Now Available In Spanish

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that its COVID-19 text message alert system “AlertsMA” is now available in Spanish. This expansion of the text-alert system means that the same text alerts that are distributed via the English-language system will now be available to Spanish-language users.

Users can subscribe to the Spanish-language service by texting COVIDMAESP to 888-777.

“Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have consistently reminded residents to get their information from trusted sources, and with the expansion of the AlertsMA text alert system, we are making it easier for Spanish-speaking residents to access important updates from the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This new service builds on our efforts to keep people in all communities across the Commonwealth informed as we confront COVID-19 together.”

Since its launch on March 24, over 215,000 individuals have signed up to receive text-message updates from AlertsMA.

The Spanish-language text alerts are the latest effort from the Commonwealth to deliver crucial COVID-19 information to non-English speakers. All of Mass.Gov (including Mass.Gov/COVID19) is available in 13 different languages, and the Commonwealth’s non-emergency help line, 2-1-1 is available in over 150 languages. Several agencies, including the Department of Public Health and the Department of Unemployment Assistance, offer additional fact sheets available in multiple languages.

“It’s crucial that we stay connected with residents throughout our response to this pandemic, and with this expansion of the AlertsMA service, we can better support our Spanish-speaking communities,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders, the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Command Center Director. “This expansion will help us make sure more residents get crucial guidance from health officials so we can slow and eventually stop the spread of COVID-19.”

The Commonwealth’s Executive Office of Technology Services and Security partnered with Everbridge, a Massachusetts-based company whose platform powers AlertsMA, to initially bring the notification service online. The Commonwealth and Everbridge partnered with UMass Medical School and the Center for Health Impact for Spanish-language translation services.

“During this public health emergency, it is increasingly important that we leverage technology to enhance our ability to communicate with the residents and businesses of the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Technology Services and Security Curtis M. Wood. “I want to thank our partners at Everbridge, UMass Medical School, and the Center for Health Impact for their collaboration and hard work as we launched this important expansion of the AlertsMA system.”

“Working on translations with our team at the Center for Health Impact to meet the needs of our non-English speaking communities is always important, but critical during emergency situations to keep our communities safe and healthy,” said Lisa Morris, Director Cross Cultural Initiatives at UMMS/Commonwealth Medicine.

The Commonwealth will continue to promote the service on Mass.gov, through digital displays and billboards at the MBTA, via MassDOT, and through social media.  

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