Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



COVID-19, older adults, Massachusetts


Gerontology | Health Policy | Public Health | Public Policy


The spread of COVID-19 across the United States has affected every facet of life since early 2020. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are currently over 4 million cases across the nation and over 146,000 deaths from the virus. Massachusetts has been one of the states hit hardest, with over 100,000 confirmed cases and more than 8,000 deaths to date. The Commonwealth currently trails only New York and New Jersey in number of deaths. While cases surge around the country, Massachusetts has seen some leveling out of positive cases since the beginning of July. Though any person can contract COVID-19, older adults are at greater risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Indeed, 80% of reported deaths in the United States were among adults age 65 or older. Moreover, those with underlying chronic conditions (e.g., COPD, heart conditions, kidney disease) are at greater risk. Though evidence is more limited, some data suggest that those with neurological conditions, such as dementia, may be at higher risk for severe symptoms of COVID-19. The impact of COVID-19 runs far beyond the clinical implications for physical health. Local, state, and national response to the pandemic has led to changes in social, financial, nutritional, and medical environments across the country, all of which may disproportionately affect older adults. The purpose of this short report is to examine the implications of the COVID-19 experiences among older Massachusetts residents.

Community Engaged/Serving

Part of the UMass Boston Community-Engaged Teaching, Research, and Service Series. //



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