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Massachusetts Department of Public Health releases updated Face Covering Advisory



BOSTON (February 15, 2022) – Today, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health released updated guidance regarding the use of face coverings and masks by individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Due to Massachusetts vaccination rates, and in light of recent improvements in COVID-19 indicators, DPH now advises that a fully vaccinated person should wear a mask or face covering when indoors (and not in your own home) if you have a weakened immune system, if you are at increased risk for severe disease because of your age or an underlying medical condition, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system and is at increased risk for severe disease or is unvaccinated.

Individuals who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear a face covering or mask when indoors with others to help prevent spreading COVID-19.

DPH says that individuals who have tested positive or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 must follow the isolation and quarantine guidance which includes wearing a mask in public for 5 more days after leaving isolation or quarantine on Day 5, regardless of vaccination status.

All people in Massachusetts (regardless of vaccination status) are required to continue wearing face coverings in certain settings.

Masks continue to be required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at all times in the following locations:

-On Public and Private Transportation
-Healthcare facilities
-Congregate care facilities
-Emergency shelter programs
-Correctional facilities
-Health Care and Day Services and Programs
-Home health care workers

The following persons are exempt from the face coverings requirement:

-Children under 5 years old.
-Persons for whom a face mask or covering creates a health risk or is not safe because of any of the following conditions or circumstances:
-the face mask or covering affects the person’s ability to breathe safely;
-the person has a mental health or other medical diagnosis that advises against wearing a face mask or covering;
-the person has a disability that prevents them from wearing a face mask or covering; or
-the person depends on supplemental oxygen to breathe.

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