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

Effective June 10, 2022: General quarantine is no longer required for new admissions to congregate care.

Effective July 1, 2022: Updated congregate care guidance and surveillance testing guidance will go into effect: 

  • Masking: Masking will be optional for staff and residents of Congregate Care, except in specific circumstances outlined in the guidance. Settings should set their masking requirements according to their population. 
  • Screening: Screening for visitors, staff, and residents may be self-directed.
  • Surveillance Testing:
    • Provider-operated congregate care: Weekly testing of staff continues to be recommended but is optional.
    • All congregate care sites may now choose over the counter rapid antigen tests or can continue with molecular or POC rapid testing.

Guidance for Congregate Care Programs

Congregate Care Surveillance Testing Guidance

Effective July 1, 2022, revised surveillance testing guidance for organizations that operate residential congregate care programs, veteran’s shelters, and residential schools will go into effect. 

Guidance on Medication Administration in Congregate Care Facilities

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.

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

Effective July 1, 2022: Masks will be optional for staff and participants in community day programs, with the exception of Adult Day Health and Day Habilitation, where staff will still be required to wear masks.

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

For human service transportation

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