EOHHS Congregate Care
As of March 31, 2023, congregate care surveillance testing is no longer required in congregate care settings.
- EOHHS will transition to offer only over the counter (OTC) rapid antigen tests to any congregate care settings that needs tests for outbreak or symptomatic/exposure testing.
- Tests may be requested at the following link: bit.ly/covidtestrequestMA
- More information about at-home COVID-19 tests, including links to instructions in multiple languages, can be found on Using a COVID-19 Self-Test.
Guidance for Congregate Care Programs
- Congregate care providers must continue to comply with federal and state COVID-19 guidance. This includes, but is not limited to, guidance on a) considerations for health care personnel after vaccination, b)COVID-19 Isolation and Exposure Guidance for the general public, and c) if staff are health care personnel personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Consistent with CDC guidance, congregate care providers should have an established plan for thorough cleaning and disinfection of all areas of the setting.
- Effective October 3, 2022: EOHHS COVID-19 guidance for organizations that operate congregate care programs
Congregate Care Surveillance Testing Guidance
Effective October 3, 2022, revised surveillance testing guidance for organizations that operate residential congregate care programs, veteran’s shelters, and residential schools will go into effect.
- Effective October 3, 2022: EOHHS Congregate Care Surveillance Testing Guidance
Guidance on Medication Administration in Congregate Care Facilities
- DPH Guidance, May 11, 2023: Prepackaged Medication Administration by Non-MAP Certified staff in Registered Community Programs
PLEASE NOTE: As of August 15, 2022, all non-health care congregate care settings/residential programs and shelters should adhere to the Isolation and Exposure Guidance for the General Public.
Congregate Care Infection Control Resources
Click here for infection control resources for Congregate Care Settings, developed through a partnership with Commonwealth Medicine, in coordination with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), the Department of Public Health (DPH) and state agencies.
Health Care Professionals
- DPH Guidance, issued October 13, 2022: Guidance for Health Care Personnel with SARS/CoV2 Infection or Exposure
- Information for providers about therapeutic treatments for COVID-19, including guidance, provider referral form, and the Monoclonal Antibody Therapy Locator
- Guidance for clinicians caring for patients with COVID-19
- Updated infection prevention and control guidance specific to COVID-19
In the event of an outbreak, all hospitals should be prepared for the possible arrival of patients with COVID-19. The CDC Hospital Preparedness Checklist outlines a number of important practices.
School health professionals
DPH guidance for school nurses and other school personnel:
- Information for School Health Offices, updated June 21, 2022
- Handwashing/Sanitizer Guidance and Limited Waiver of 105 CMR 210.000 Related to Sanitizer, June 10, 2021
Health Care Organizations
- DPH Guidance, May 5, 2023: Organizational Policies and Procedures for Mitigating Respiratory Illness
- DPH Guidance, May 5, 2023: Updated Comprehensive Personal Protective Equipment
- 90-Day Strategies to Address Healthcare Capacity, December 8, 2022
- Updated Anterior Nares (Nasal Swab) Specimen Collection by Unlicensed Healthcare Personnel, September 25, 2020
DPH asks hospitals to carefully review guidance from the CDC and DPH with all healthcare personnel to care for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. DPH has also issued guidance to acute and non-acute care hospitals, including:
- DPH Memorandum, September 18, 2023: Updated Guidance Regarding Implementation of Alternate Acute Inpatient Care Space
- DPH Memorandum, June 20, 2023: Skilled Nursing Facility Short-Term Rehab Capacity Program
- DPH Memorandum, May 18, 2023: Web EOC Data Reporting for Covid-19
- Attachment – WebEOC Covid Questions
- DPH Guidance, May 3, 2023: Space on Hospital Premises for Outpatient Patient Treatment of Respiratory Viruses
- DPH Guidance, April 13, 2023: Updated Guidance Regarding Implementation of Alternate Acute Inpatient Care Space
- DPH Memorandum, October 31, 2022: Management of Pediatric Respiratory Illness Patients during times of Capacity Constraints
- DPH Guidance, July 28, 2022: Capacity Planning and Response Guidance for Acute Care Hospitals
- DPH Guidance, updated January 28, 2022: Procedures and Requirements for Hospitals/Clinics Dispensing COVID-19 Oral Antivirals
- Monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy information for providers, including guidance, Monoclonal Antibody Report & Request Form, and the Monoclonal Antibody Therapy Locator
- DPH Guidance, September 17, 2021: COVID-19 Resurgence Planning and Response Guidance for Acute Care Hospitals
- DPH Guidance, May 26, 2022: Vaccination of Admitted Patients
- Information for Academic Medical Centers, April 4, 2020:
- The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine (BORIM) has authorized expediting full licensure for clinical fellows. Please find additional information from BORIM regarding physician licensure, including an emergency temporary 90 day license application for physicians who have completed training seeking a full license: Emergency Physician Full License Application.
Non-Acute Care Hospitals
- DPH Guidance, May 26, 2022: Vaccination of Admitted Patients
- DPH Guidance, October 13, 2022: Caring for Non-Acute Care Hospital Patients
- DPH Guidance, May 3, 2023: Clinic Space for Respiratory Virus Testing, Treatment and Vaccine Administration
- DPH Guidance, May 9, 2023: Staffing at Out-of-Hospital Dialysis Units
Substance Addiction Service Providers
- Ensuring Access by Reducing Barriers to Admission Related to COVID-19, effective February 22, 2021.
- Required Reporting of COVID-19 Positive Cases by BSAS Licensees and Contractors, January 23, 2023
- DPH guidance for all healthcare facilities, September 25, 2020: Updated Anterior Nares (Nasal Swab) Specimen Collection by Unlicensed Healthcare Personnel
For long term care facilities
Signs for Facilities:
- Caution Signs for Isolated Individuals in Long-Term Care Facilities (updated March 14, 2023)
- Hand Hygiene and PPE Observations
DPH has issued guidance to long term care facilities and has shared important guidance from the CDC, including:
- DPH Guidance, May 10, 2023: Update to Infection Prevention and Control Considerations When Caring for Long-Term Care Residents
- DPH Memorandum, November 18, 2022: DPH Limits on Admissions for Outbreaks or Clusters in Long-Term Care Facilities
- List of Long-Term Care Facilities with Admission Freezes, updated September 22, 2023
- DPH Guidance, November 2, 2022: COVID-19 and Influenza Vaccination Guidance
- DPH Guidance, November 2, 2022: Updated Long-Term Care COVID-19 Personnel Vaccination Requirement
- DPH Guidance, April 6, 2020: Personal Protective Equipment Requests, New Signage for COVID-19 Resident Rooms, and Reporting COVID-19 Deaths in Long-Term Care Facilities
- DPH fact sheet: Alcohol-Based Hand Rub in Long Term Care Facilities
For assisted living residences
- Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) guidance, April 8, 2022: Integrated Guidance and Resources for Assisted Living Residences (ALRs) During the COVID-19 Pandemic | Appendix B: COVID-19 Reporting Template
- Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) guidance, updated June 22, 2021: Vaccination Opportunities for ALRs Post Federal Pharmacy Partnership Program
- EOEA Guidance to implement the DPH Order regarding authorization for skilled nursing care and staffing updates in assisted living facilities, June 15, 2021.
For in-home caregivers
- DPH Memo, November 21, 2022: Updated COVID-19 Personnel Vaccination Requirement
- Notice, February 24, 2022: Notice Extending Compliance Deadline for COVID-19 Vaccinations for Certain Staff Providing Home Care Services to March 21, 2022
- Guidance for non-agency based in-home caregivers (e.g. PCAs, Independent Nurses, etc.): Non Agency In Home Care COVID-19 Guidance
For community day programs
Guidance for community day program settings (e.g. Adult Day Health, Day Habilitation, Clubhouses, Councils on Aging, etc.):
- Updated October 13, 2022: EOHHS COVID-19 Guidance for day programs
For human service transportation
- Effective October 10, 2022: EOHHS COVID-19 Guidance for Human Service Transportation
For hospice programs
Guidance and information for homeless shelter providers is available here: Homelessness Support During COVID-19.
- Standing Order for Dispensing Over-the-Counter (OTC) Diagnostic Tests for SARS-CoV-2, issued November 16, 2022, pursuant to G.L. c. 94C, §19E.
- This document replaces the order issued January 14, 2022.
|Last updated:||April 18, 2023|