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Guidance for the Public


Social Distancing  |  Confirmed/Suspected Cases  |  Cleaning  |  Coping  | FAQs

Social Distancing

    • Stay approximately six feet away from other people.

    • Stay home and avoid travel except for essential errands (grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations)

    • Do not congregate in groups.

    • Practice good hygiene: continue to wash hands, use hand sanitizer, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your inner elbow.

    • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Certain people are at higher risk for serious illness from this virus. High risk individuals include:

    • Older adults

    • People with an underlying health conditions, including (but not limited to) heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma and conditions that can cause a person to be immunocompromised, such as cancer treatment or smoking.

    • For those at higher risk

      • Trips outside the home should only be made when absolutely necessary, for food or medications. Those experiencing difficulty with access to food, please call 311 or visit our food resources page for assistance.

      • Taking walks or spending time outside is discouraged for the next few weeks. Exercise inside the home instead.

Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 Cases

If you are sick and have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, the links below provide information to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community. Read the guidelines in all currently available languages below:


Cleaning & Disinfecting Guidance
COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus. COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person. It is spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land on people who are nearby (within 6 feet). It may also be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a contaminated surface or object and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.

Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces, especially those that are frequently touched (such as doorknobs, handles, tabletops, etc.) can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read the guidelines in all currently available languages below:

Coping with Stress from COVID-19
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger. Read the guidelines in all currently available languages below:


Guidance for Multi-Resident Buildings
The Boston Public Health Commission has created the following gold standard guidance for multi-resident buildings to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among residents. It is very important that buildings where most residents are older adults (senior living, nursing homes, assisted living communities, etc.) follow these protocols because older adults are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19. Any other apartment building, condominium complex, or other multi-resident setting should follow this guidance as well. Read the guidelines in all currently available languages below:

Senior Housing Advisory

On April 19, 2020 the Boston Public Health Commission issued an advisory requesting owners, managers and residents of senior housing eliminate unnecessary visitation. This Advisory remains in effect until further notice. Click here to read the advisory.

Guidance for Single Room Occupancy Buildings

The Boston Public Health Commission has created the following gold standard guidance for single room occupancy (SRO) buildings to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among residents. It is very important that buildings where residents share common living areas (kitchens and bathrooms) follow these protocols because those buildings are at higher risk for the spread of COVID-19. This document is intended for: Rooming / boarding / lodging houses, sober homes, halfway houses, residential treatment facilities and detox programs, group homes, similar group living settings. Read the guidelines in all currently available languages below:


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Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: info@bphc.org