Massachusetts Department of Public Health Releases Updated Face-covering Advisory

BOSTON — On Friday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) released updated guidance regarding the use of face coverings and cloth masks by individuals who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated federal guidance that continues to state that individuals who are fully vaccinated may, as a general matter, resume many of the activities that they engaged in prior to the pandemic without wearing a mask or staying six feet apart, except where otherwise required by federal, state, or local laws, rules, or regulations. In response to the recent spread of the Delta variant, however, the CDC’s updated guidance does recommend that even fully vaccinated persons wear masks or face coverings when indoors if other risk factors are present.

In light of the information provided by the CDC, and in order to maximize protection of vulnerable individuals from the Delta variant, the Department of Public Health released updated guidance that recommends that a fully vaccinated person should wear a mask or face covering when indoors (and not in their own home) if they have a weakened immune system, or if they are at increased risk for severe disease because of age or an underlying medical condition, or if someone in their household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.

All people in Massachusetts (regardless of vaccination status) are required to continue wearing face coverings in certain settings, including transportation and healthcare facilities. See www.mass.gov/maskrules for a complete list of venues where face coverings remain mandatory.