Many of the things you do to help prevent colds and the flu can help protect you against other respiratory viruses, including COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hands.
  • Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others.

Even if you do not have symptoms, stay home as much as you can and practice social distancing if you must go out. That’s because you can be sick with COVID-19 and spread the illness to others as much as 48 hours before you have symptoms.

There are currently no vaccines available to protect against this novel coronavirus infection.

Social distancing

People can spread COVID19 up to 48 hours before they have symptoms.  That’s why social distancing is so important— no matter what.

Social distancing tips

  • Call/Facetime/online chat with friends and family
  • Stay home as much as you can
  • If you must go out:
    • Don’t gather in groups
    • Stay 6 feet away from others
    • Don’t shake hands or hug
  • And please continue to wash your hands frequently

Carpooling guidance

Practice social distancing while using rideshares, paratransit, taxis and personal vehicles:

  • Limit number of occupants in vehicle whenever possible
  • All occupants should wear face covering at all times while in the vehicle
  • Open vehicle windows whenever possible
  • Keep disinfectant wipes in vehicle to clean touchpoints after passenger(s) exits the vehicle (e.g., door handles, instrument panel, door locks, window controls)

Download a flyer: Stop COVID-19 Flyers about Carpooling. View additional guidance, including public transit tips: Protect Yourself When Using Transportation.

Stay at home

We are still safer at home while COVID-19 is present in Massachusetts. Safer at home means people over the age of 65 and people who have underlying health conditions – who are at high risk for COVID-19 – should continue to stay home except for essential errands. All residents are advised to leave home only for healthcare, worship and permitted work, shopping, and activities. More guidance is outlined in the Safer-at-Home Advisory.


If you have been exposed to possible COVID-19 contact, you will be directed to quarantine by self-monitoring at home in case you get sick.


If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you will be directed to self-isolate by separating yourself from others to keep your germs from spreading.

Wear a mask

Governor Baker issued an Order that went into effect on May 6 requiring face masks or cloth face coverings in public places where social distancing is not possible. This applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces. Exceptions include children under the age of 2 and those unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition. Read the full DPH Guidance.

It is critical to emphasize that social distancing measures remain in effect and keeping 6 feet apart from others remains important to slowing the spread of the virus. 

Learn more about wearing face coverings and cloth masks in public, including fact sheets in multiple languages. 


At this time there is no specific treatment for this novel coronavirus. Antiviral medications used to treat other types of viruses are being used but their efficacy is not known at this time.

Visit Preparing for a COVID-19 Vaccine for information about Massachusetts’ planning for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Additional guidance

Reopening and Limits on Gatherings: Learn about the current phase of Reopening Massachusetts and the latest orders on Limits on Gatherings.

Halloween tips: The Halloween During COVID-19 outlines tips for a safe and healthy Halloween.

Stay Safer At Home: Read the Department of Public Health's Safer-at-Home Advisory.

Cover Your Face: Learn about the face covering order and best practices: Wear a Mask in Public.

Travel Order: Travel-related orders and guidance are included in the COVID-19 Travel Order.