News  Guidance on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

With the on-going coverage of COVID-19 Commissioner Jane Ryder shares suggestions for how to stay healthy
  • Department of Developmental Services

Dear DDS Community –

Massachusetts continues to prepare for the potential outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, that originated in Wuhan, Hubei, China. The risk of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth is low; in contrast, the risk of flu is high.  

Commissioner Monica Bharel and her team at the Department of Public Health have been in constant contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local partners, and launched a site that includes extensive information and is a “source of truth” here:

It is updated on a regular basis.  The fact sheets available are translated in multiple languages and can be printed and shared. These simple precautions will help prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory illnesses:  

·         Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, using a tissue or the inside of your elbow

·         Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water frequently and use hand sanitizer

·         If you have a fever or feel sick, stay home and call your healthcare provider

·         Get the flu vaccine – it is not too late!

To date, there has been one confirmed case of coronavirus in Massachusetts; there have been more than 30,000 confirmed cases of the flu.  The risk for coronavirus in the Commonwealth remains low; the risk for the flu is high.

DDS is following the guidance provided by the Department of Public Health (DPH) relative to COVID-19. 


DDS will continue to monitor both CDC and DPH recommendations and will provide more guidance as appropriate.

Please feel free to share this message.  Thank you.


Jane F. Ryder, Commissioner

Department of Developmental Services

  • Department of Developmental Services  

    The Department of Developmental Services provides supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder to enhance opportunities to become fully engaged members of their community.
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