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Massachusetts Adopts Mask Advisory in Response to Surging COVID-19 Cases

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has announced the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) advises that all residents, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask or face covering when indoors (and not in their own homes).

The DPH particularly urges this recommendation for people who have a weakened immune system, are at increased risk for severe disease because of their age or an underlying medical condition, or live with someone who has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.

All people in Massachusetts (regardless of vaccination status) continue to be required to wear face coverings in certain settings, including transportation and healthcare facilities. The following persons are exempt from the face coverings advisory:

  • Children under five years old.

  • Persons for whom a face mask or covering creates a health risk or is not safe because of any of the following conditions or circumstances:

    • The face mask or covering affects the person’s ability to breathe safely;

    • The person has a mental health or other medical diagnosis that advises against wearing a face mask or covering;

    • The person has a disability that prevents them from wearing a face mask or covering; or

    • The person depends on supplemental oxygen to breathe.

In his press conference announcing the mask advisory, Governor Baker stated he had “no interest” in mandating masks, but local government can pursue alternative options.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2023National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 356

About this Author

Michael Bertoncini, Jackson Lewis, labor relations attorney, employment litigation lawyer, NLRB proceedings counsel, arbitration law

Michael R. Bertoncini is a Principal in the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He practices labor and employment law, with a particular emphasis on labor relations, and employment law counseling and litigation.

In labor relations matters, he regularly counsels clients on the practice of positive employee relations, negotiates collective bargaining agreements on behalf of organized clients, represents clients in labor arbitrations and National Labor Relations Board proceedings, and counsels clients with...