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

PLEASE NOTE: As of December 30, 2021, all non-health care congregate care settings/residential programs and shelters should adhere to the Isolation and Quarantine Guidance for the General Public. This recently updated guidance includes: group homes, residential treatment programs, community-based acute residential treatment programs, and clinical stabilization service programs funded, operated, licensed, and/or regulated by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Department of Youth Services (DYS), the Department of Mental Health (DMH), the Department of Public Health (DPH), the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), the Department of Veterans' Services (DVS), the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB), and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC).  Additionally, this guidance applies to emergency shelter programs, including individual and family homeless shelters, domestic violence and sexual assault shelters, Veterans’ shelters, including those funded by the Department of Housing and Community Development, and approved private special education schools which offer residential services and are approved by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Guidance for Congregate Care Programs

Congregate Care Surveillance Testing Guidance

On August 4, 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 May 12, 2021 and 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


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

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


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


Dialysis Facilities


Substance Addiction Service Providers

Emergency Responders & Law Enforcement

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


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.):

For hospice programs


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.