COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Meeting Your Family’s Needs while Staying Safe

The government is asking us to stay home as much as possible to limit the number of people who will get sick from the coronovirus.  Other recommendations are to wash your hands frequently, call your doctor if you feel sick, and that if you do have to go out to keep a ‘social distance’ of 6 ft. or 1.5 meters from others.  Even if someone has no symptoms, they may still carry the virus and they can spread it to others. The best policy is to stay home and avoid contact with others as much as possible.

  1. Can I visit with friends?  It’s best to avoid contact with non-family members as much as possible. We can slow the spread of this disease if we reduce contact with non-family members. 
  2. Will grocery stores and supermarkets remain open?  Yes, most grocery stores are open. Call them to see what their adjusted hours are. Many Waltham grocery stores also have grocery delivery services (Star Market, Market Basket, Shaws, Stop & Shop, Costco, & CVS).
  3. Will grocery stores and supermarkets be stocked with food and other products?  Yes. Grocery stores should have most things stocked. There may be temporary shortages of some staples, like bread and toilet paper, but those will also come back in stock.
  4. Is it safe for us to go out and buy food? Yes, but take precautions. When you need to get food, only one adult should go.  Wash your hands well before your outing. Keep 3-6 feet /1.5-2 meters away from others during your outing.  Do not touch your face while you are out; you may also choose to wear gloves. When you return home, wash your hands.  
  5. I don’t have childcare. Can I go out shopping with young children? Yes, if absolutely necessary. Follow the rule of keeping all members of the family 3-6 feet/1.5-2 meters from others, and have everyone wash their hands before leaving the house and again when you get home.
  6. Can I take the children out to the park?  Yes, but take precautions. Avoid playgrounds, but parks and walking trails are safe.  Keep all members of the family 3-6 feet/1.5-2 meters from others. Play with your family only. 
  7. Can the older children go out and play soccer?  Yes, but only with your own family or those who live in your household. 
  8. Can I leave my children with a friend who usually looks after them while I go to work? Yes, but only if absolutely necessary. Ask your friend if they have had any symptoms (cough, fever), and do not send your children if they have. Request that they wipe down common surfaces in their home.  Make sure everyone washes their hands before and after going to the caregiver’s home, and regularly while they are there..
  9. I have a child with special needs who needs to go out for fresh air, can we go out for a walk?   Yes! This is a great source of comfort for all kids.  Keep all members of the family 3-6 feet/1.5-2 meters from others.  Play with your family only.
  10. Can I go visit a family member/a friend/a neighbor?   No. Stay home as much as possible, and limit interactions to those in your household. Keep in touch with friends via calls and video chats!
  11. Can I go shopping for people who cannot go themselves?   Encourage anyone who needs food to check for ways to pick up free food in the community. If you do choose to buy food for someone, order it online and have it delivered to their home, if possible.
  12. Can I take out the trash?  Yes.  Stay 3-6 feet or 1.5-2 meters from others and wash your hands when you come back inside.
  13. Why can’t we go see the grandparents and spend an afternoon with them?  Even though you may not have any symptoms or feel sick, you are still able to carry the virus to your elderly family member and get them sick. The best way to keep your family safe while staying connected is to call them.
  14. I just got laid off. I cannot pay my rent. What do I do?  Please go to the WATCH website and complete our form, or call us at  781-891-6689 ext. 203 and leave a message.
  15. I have to go to court in Boston. Can and should I go?  Call the court before going. Your court appointment may be cancelled.  If you have further questions, please call WATCH CDC 781-891-6689 ext. 203 and leave a message, or scan a copy of your document and email it to  
  16. Do I need to wear gloves and a mask when I go outside?  If it makes you feel more comfortable, and you have them, feel free to wear them.  Whether or not you own these items, the most important thing to prevent the spread of the virus is to minimize going out.  If you have to go out, don’t touch your face while you’re out, sneeze or cough into your elbow, and wash your hands when you get home. 

For additional detailed information on COVID-19 and best practices to stay safe, read through these fact sheets from, available in a variety of languages.