- Board of Registration in Nursing
ORDER OF THE COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC HEALTH COVID-19
Public Health Emergency Order No. 2021-6
Issued August 26, 2021
On May 28, 2021, pursuant to Section 2A of Chapter 17 of the General Laws, Governor Charles D. Baker declared that an emergency exists that is detrimental to the public health in the Commonwealth due to the continuing threat of COVID-19, and authorized the Commissioner, with the approval of the Public Health Council, to adopt measures to facilitate COVID-19 testing and vaccination, to mandate special measures to protect higher risk populations or to effectuate continued surveillance of COVID-19, and to respond as necessary to outbreaks of the virus as they may arise.
Consistent with the Governor’s May 28, 2021 declaration, on June 9, 2021, the Public Health Council approved and authorized the Commissioner of Public Health to take such actions, incur such liabilities, and establish such rules, requirements and procedures which are necessary to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in order to protect the health and welfare of the people of the Commonwealth. Accordingly, having received that authorization from the Council and with the approval of the Governor, I issue the following Order:
1. Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, physician assistants, respiratory therapists, perfusionists, and emergency medical technicians who are licensed in another State who present to the corresponding Massachusetts licensing authority verification that such license is in good standing in that other State where it was issued shall forthwith be issued a corresponding Massachusetts license that shall remain valid until December 31, 2021. All health care providers licensed under this provision may provide services within the scope of practice authorized by the license in such profession, both in-person in Massachusetts and across State lines into Massachusetts using telemedicine where appropriate.
2. Individuals who have within the last ten years held a license to practice as a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, advanced practice registered nurse, physician assistant, respiratory therapist, perfusionist, or emergency medical technician that was issued by a Massachusetts licensing authority, including but not limited to a state agency, a board of registration or division with licensing authority within a state agency, and whose license, registration, certification or authorization has expired, lapsed or been retired but is not revoked, suspended, surrendered or subject to any non-disciplinary restriction shall have their licenses immediately renewed or reactivated upon request, notwithstanding the applicant’s completion of continuing education, or The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services Department of Public Health 250 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02108-4619 CHARLES D. BAKER Governor KARYN E. POLITO Lieutenant Governor MARYLOU SUDDERS Secretary MARGRET R. COOKE Acting Commissioner Tel: 617-624-6000 www.mass.gov/dph reactivation requirements, and shall remain valid until December 31, 2021. Any applicable renewal fee set pursuant to section 3B of chapter 7, or late renewal fee shall be waived.
3. The licenses of physician assistants, respiratory therapists, perfusionists, emergency medical technicians, social workers, and psychologists granted pursuant to the Order Rescinding and Replacing the March 29, 2020 Order of the Commissioner of Public Health Maximizing Health Care Provider Availability, issued on April 3, 2020, shall remain valid until December 31, 2021, notwithstanding the recission of that Order on June 14, 2021. Any other license granted pursuant to that Order remains subject to the terms of the recission and shall be valid only until September 15, 2021.
4. A board or licensing authority shall notify the Commissioner when it becomes aware of any individual instance where, due to special concerns, application of this Order may be contrary to the public interest. The Commissioner shall in her sole discretion determine whether to apply or suspend the terms of this Order in any such individual instance.
5. For purposes of this Order, the following terms shall apply: “License” shall include a license, registration, certification or authorization. “In good standing” shall include a license that is subject to probation or non-disciplinary conditions, but shall not include a license that is revoked, cancelled, surrendered, suspended, or subject to disciplinary restrictions.
All applicable statutes, regulations, and guidance not inconsistent with this Order remain in effect.
This Order shall remain in effect until December 31, 2021 unless extended or rescinded by me prior to that date, or the public health emergency is terminated by the Governor, whichever shall happen first.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Margret R. Cooke
Acting Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
August 26, 202