Massachusetts Updates Its State Mask Mandate – NECN

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is updating its mask guidelines for those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In an advisory Tuesday, DPH said it now recommends that face masks be worn indoors if you are fully vaccinated and have a weakened immune system, are at increased risk of serious illness due to age or an underlying medical condition, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk of serious illness, or is not vaccinated.

Those who are not fully vaccinated are advised to wear a face covering or mask when indoors.

This is a change from previous guidance published in December 2021, which recommended that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask in indoor public spaces.

Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been a close contact of someone who has tested positive should follow isolation and quarantine guidelines, including wearing a mask in public, regardless of status of vaccination.

Individuals exempt from the mask mandate are:

  • Children under 5 years.
  • People for whom a mask or face covering creates a health risk or is unsafe due to any of the following conditions or circumstances:
    • The mask or face covering affects the person’s ability to breathe safely;
    • The person has a mental health or other medical diagnosis that makes the use of a mask or face covering inadvisable;
    • The person has a disability that prevents them from wearing a mask or face covering
    • The person depends on supplemental oxygen to breathe.

Some places will still require a mask:

Certain types of locations will continue to require masks. This includes public transportation, such as MBTA, commuter rail, buses, ferries, and planes, and rideshares (Uber and Lyft), taxis, and livery vehicles.

This is a federal requirement established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This also applies to transportation hubs such as train or bus stations and airports.

The requirement will also continue to apply to medical care facilities, congregate care centers, correctional facilities, emergency shelters, and certain health and day care programs. For a full list of details, click here.

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