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

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:
  • 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 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. 

Guidance on Medication Administration in Congregate Care Facilities

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.

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.

School health professionals

DPH guidance for school nurses and other school personnel:


    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


    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 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 human service transportation

    For hospice programs

    Homeless Shelters

    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

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