Once again, Massachusetts health officials have updated the guidelines for wearing face coverings in the Commonwealth. More specifically, the Department of Public Health, this afternoon, released its updated guidance regarding the use of face coverings and masks by individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Who is the updated advisory for?

According to the advisory, sent out today by the Massachusetts DPH, recognizing that Massachusetts is a national leader in vaccine acceptance, and also amid some recent improvements in COVID-19 indicators, health officials are now advising that fully vaccinated persons should wear a mask or face covering when indoors 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. The advisory is not indicating that you should do this in your own home.

You're NOT vaccinated?

The DPH says that 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. The DPH continues to stress however that vaccination remains to be the most effective protection against serious illness, hospitalization, and death.

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You can read the full advisory and get more information from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, HERE.

You've tested positive or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive?

Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, or if you are in close contact with someone with COVID-19, you need to 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. You can find that guidance, HERE.

Mask wearing is still required in certain settings...

All people in Massachusetts (regardless of vaccination status) are required to continue wearing face coverings in certain settings, including on public transportation and in health care facilities. For a complete list of venues where face coverings have remained mandatory since May 29, 2021, go HERE.

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Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

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