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COVID-19 Public Health Guidance and Directives

Guidance and directives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) related to COVID-19.

Table of Contents

EOHHS Congregate Care

Guidance for Congregate Care Programs

Congregate Care Surveillance Testing Guidance

On May 12, 2021, EOHHS issued revised surveillance testing guidance for organizations that operate residential congregate care programs, veteran’s shelters, and residential schools. EOHHS Congregate Care Surveillance Testing Guidance (this guidance replaces the March 22, 2021 guidance)

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.

Testing Guidance

Health Care Professionals

Clinicians

Clinicians who see patients with recent travel to areas with community transmission of COVID-19  who have a fever, lower respiratory tract symptoms (such as shortness of breath and cough), and/or contact with a known COVID-19 patient, should contact the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) 24/7 at (617) 983-6800 for assistance. Further clinical guidance:

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.

Lab professionals

DPH Guidance, June 14, 2021: Temporary Laboratory License for CLIA-waived COVID-19 Testing and Clinical Laboratory Alternate Sites

On April 7, 2020, DPH issued guidance to clinical labs which (1) aligns the Massachusetts exempt test with all tests on the current list of CLIA waived tests; and (2) alleviates the need for certain providers to obtain a clinical laboratory license in order to conduct testing on their own patients. Massachusetts Clinical Laboratory Program – Changes to Exempt Test List and ​Definition of Physician

Sexual and Domestic Violence (SDV) service providers

School health professionals

DPH guidance for school nurses and other school personnel:

Temporary Nursing Agencies

DPH guidance for registered temporary nursing agencies in Massachusetts:

Health Care Organizations

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued emergency use authorization (EUA) for two monoclonal antibody therapeutics, bamlanivimab and etesevimab, administered together and REGEN-COV for treatment of early mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in high-risk patients. Hospitals, long term care facilities, dialysis providers, acute and urgent sites, and infusion sites may request monoclonal antibody therapies through the federal government or, if they need an urgent supply through DPH.  This guidance sets forth expectations for Massachusetts providers which elect to receive allocations of these COVID-19 therapeutics:  

Hospitals

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: 

Non-Acute Care Hospitals

Clinics

Substance Addiction Service Providers

Emergency Responders & Law Enforcement

DPH has issued guidance to emergency responders and has shared important guidance from the CDC, including:

Caregivers

For long term care facilities

Signs for Facilities:

DPH has issued guidance to long term care facilities and has shared important guidance from the CDC, including: 

For assisted living residences

For Early Intervention Providers

Guidance for Massachusetts Early Intervention vendor agencies:

For in-home caregivers

For community day programs

Guidance for community day program settings (e.g. Adult Day Health, Day Habilitation, Clubhouses, Councils on Aging, etc.):

Businesses

DPH guidance:

Recreational Camps and Programs

DPH guidance: Recreational Camps and Programs Health and Safety Standards for Reopening

Homeless Shelters

Guidance and information for homeless shelter providers is available here: Homelessness Support During COVID-19.

Local government

Guidance for Town Meetings to Address COVID-19 PDF | Doc

Local Boards of Health

DPH COVID-19 Information for Local Boards of Health includes updates on public health guidance, materials for communicating with the public, and shareable preparedness resources.

Insurers

DPH Guidance to implement the DPH Order regarding access to certain immunization information for insurance carriers and MassHealth.

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