Skip to content

On March 25, 2024, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) updated guidance on what to do if you have, or been exposed to, respiratory illness. As throughout the whole pandemic, Massachusetts local health departments, school health offices, and health care facilities follow guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Read current MA Department of Public Health guidance

Symptoms of a respiratory virus may include fever, sore throat, cough or a runny or stuffy nose.

Overview of things you can do to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Get vaccinated for flu and COVID-19
  • Stay home when you are sick (follow the recommendations below)
  • Use hand and respiratory hygiene

If you have symptoms of a respiratory virus

If you have new symptoms of a respiratory virus (fever, sore throat, cough or a runny/stuffy nose), stay home and stay away from others in your household.

Learn what you should do and when you can resume normal activities

If you test positive for a respiratory illness

If you test positive for a respiratory illness but do not have symptoms, you can still spread the virus.

Take these precautions for at least the first five days

If you were exposed to someone with a respiratory illness

If you were exposed to someone with a respiratory virus, you do not need to stay home if you remain asymptomatic. You may be able to spread a respiratory virus before developing symptoms.

Read more on steps you can take to protect others

I want to take steps to prepare for Isolation or Quarantine, just in case. What do I need to do?

Prepare your home:

  • If possible, isolate sick individual in a separate bedroom and bathroom.
  • Have a separate and lined trash for the person with COVID-19.
  • Find someone to be the primary caretaker. Find someone to be a back-up caretaker.

Prepare your COVID-19 Care Kit:

  • Hand soap, hand sanitizer, household disinfectants and other cleaning supplies.
  • Protective gloves, extra face coverings, tissues, and spare trash bags.
  • Medicine, fever reducers with acetaminophen.

Prepare yourself:

  • Get a Primary Care Physician for you and your family.
  • Create an emergency contact list including family, friends, healthcare providers, employers, Local Health Departments, and other community resources.

Where can I find out more about isolation and quarantine?

If you need additional help or information, here are some online resources that are available to you.

Respiratory Illness Landing Page
Back To Top