7 places you should always wear a face mask in Massachusetts – NBC Boston

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Massachusetts health officials on Tuesday relaxed the state’s mask guidelines to say that only high-risk and unvaccinated people should wear face masks indoors.

Health officials are no longer advising vaccinated people with no pre-existing conditions or weakened immune systems to wear masks indoors, per guidelines they issued in December.

The Ministry of Public Health still urges people to get vaccinated and strengthened, noting that vaccination remains the most effective protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death. DPH cited state vaccination rates and COVID-19 metrics in its decision to relax the guidelines.

According to the new guidelines, anyone with a weakened immune system, who is at increased risk of serious illness due to age or an underlying medical condition, or who lives with someone with a weakened immune system, who is at increased risk of serious illness or who is unvaccinated should wear a mask or face covering indoors, but not inside their own home.

There are several conditions that can put a person at higher risk for serious illness; information about these conditions can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions website.

DPH is also advising those who have not been vaccinated to continue wearing a face covering or mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others.

People who are considered close contacts or who have tested positive should follow isolation and quarantine guidelines, which include wearing a mask in public for an additional 5 days after leaving isolation or quarantine on day 5, regardless of vaccination status.

All people in Massachusetts, regardless of their vaccination status, are required to continue wearing face coverings in certain settings, including some transportation and health care settings. As of Feb. 25, however, the CDC no longer requires masks to be worn on school buses or vans for K-12 students and children in child care programs.

The Departments of Primary and Secondary Education and Early Childhood Education and Care have since updated their guidelines.

Massachusetts lifted its school mask mandate on Monday, but some school districts, including Boston, have opted to keep them in place until they meet certain key COVID-19 criteria.

A full list of locations where face coverings have remained mandatory since May 29, 2021 is available on the state’s website. They understand:

  1. In public and private transport, including on the MBTA, commuter trains, buses, ferries, and airplanes, and in rideshares (Uber and Lyft), taxis, and livery vehicles, as required by the January 29, 2021 order from the CDC. Face coverings are also required at all times inside transportation hubs, including train stations, bus stops and airports. People waiting outside transit hubs no longer need to wear masks. The requirement applies to riders and workers.
  2. Health facilities licensed or operated by the Commonwealth and the healthcare practice locations of any provider licensed by a professional board that sits within the Department of Public Health or Professional Licensing Division. These settings include nursing homes, nursing homes, emergency medical services, hospitals, physicians and other medical and dental offices, urgent care facilities, community health centers, immunization, behavioral health clinics, and Bureau of Substance and Addiction Services facilities. This requirement applies to patients, residents, staff, suppliers and visitors.
  3. Congregate care facilities or programs operated, authorized, certified, regulated, authorized or funded by the Commonwealth. These settings include the common areas of assisted living facilities, group homes, residential treatment programs and facilities operated, licensed, certified, regulated, licensed or funded by the Ministry for Children and Families, the Ministry Department of Youth Services, Department of Mental Health, Department of Public Health, Department of Developmental Services, Department of Veterans Services, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, Executive Office of Human Rights seniors and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. This requirement applies to customers, residents, staff, suppliers and visitors.
  4. emergency shelter programs, including individual and family homeless shelters, domestic violence and sexual assault shelters, veterans shelters, and shelters funded by the Department of Housing and Community Development. This requirement applies to guests, staff, vendors and visitors.
  5. Reformatories, Department of Correction prisons, jails and other correctional facilities. This requirement applies to detained or incarcerated persons, staff, vendors and visitors.
  6. Healthcare and day care services and programs operated, licensed, certified, regulated or funded by the Commonwealth, including the Executive Office of Health and Human Services or any of its agencies. These settings include Adult Day Health, Day Adaptation, All-Inclusive Elder Care Program, Psychosocial Rehabilitation Clubs, Brain Injury Centers and Clubs, Day Treatment, Hospitalization partial and intensive outpatient programs, recovery support centers and day center support. programs. This requirement applies to staff, visitors, suppliers and consumers.
  7. Home healthcare workers, including personal care attendants and home health aides in community and home settings where they provide face-to-face care to patients; provided, however, that the requirement only applies to the worker providing care.
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