See what’s changed in the updated guidelines – NBC Boston

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

In an advisory on Tuesday, DPH said it now advises wearing face masks indoors outside your home if you are fully vaccinated and have a weakened immune system, if you are at higher risk of serious illness in because of your 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.

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

This is a change from previous guidance issued in December 2021, which recommended that all people, regardless of their vaccination status, wear a mask or face covering in indoor public spaces.

Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or had close contact with someone who tested positive should continue to follow isolation and quarantine guidelines, which include wearing a mask in public, regardless of their vaccination status. .

Massachusetts’ latest COVID-19 numbers show declining cases

Massachusetts’ COVID metrics, tracked on the Public Health Department’s interactive coronavirus dashboard, have dropped dramatically in recent weeks after peaking in January, which health officials have attributed at least in part to the omicron variant. On Monday, the seven-day average positivity rate was 3%, down from the last peak of just over 23% on January 5.

The number of cases and hospitalizations are also trending down.

The latest wastewater data from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s tracking system, operated by Cambridge-based Biobot, shows COVID measurements are returning to pre-omicron surge levels in the Boston area.

Baker drops statewide school mask mandate

Gov. Charlie Baker announced last week that the end of the statewide school mask mandate would be Feb. 28, instead empowering individual districts to determine COVID-19 regulations, based on local case measures and vaccination rates.

This is in line with similar rulings in neighboring states.

Some locations will still require a face mask

Certain types of locations will continue to require face masks. This includes public transportation, such as the MBTA, commuter trains, buses, ferries, and airplanes, as well as 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 transport hubs such as train or bus stations and airports.

The requirement will also continue to apply in health care facilities, congregate care facilities, correctional facilities, emergency shelters and some health and child care programs. For a full list of specs, click here.

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