On Friday, July 24, Governor Charlie Baker issued a travel order that will go into effect on Saturday, August 1. This order requires a 14-day quarantine for anyone entering Massachusetts from another state. Here’s what you and your patients need to know.
How does quarantining work?
Anyone entering or re-entering Massachusetts must submit a Massachusetts travel form. In addition, they must quarantine for 14 days.
People who are quarantining cannot leave their living quarters. Each person must have access to their own bathroom and cleaning supplies. They must also exercise proper hygiene throughout the quarantine period. Food must be delivered to the living quarters rather than purchased in-store.
If one of the travelers or any member of their party develops COVID-19 symptoms, they may need to be re-tested and should seek medical attention. These symptoms include:
- Fever over 100.0 degrees
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Muscle or body aches
- Runny nose or nasal congestion
- New loss of taste or smell
- Nausea or vomiting
If no one in the travel party develops symptoms throughout the 14-day quarantine, they may at that point resume their normal activities.
Fore more information on quarantine guidelines, visit mass.gov.
Who has to quarantine upon arrival to Massachusetts?
Everyone entering Massachusetts must quarantine unless they are coming from a lower-risk state. Lower-risk states include every state in New England as well as New York, New Jersey, and Hawaii. If you have any out-of-state patients to whom you provide specialized care, those patients and anyone traveling with them to provide support are also exempt from the quarantine. Those who plan to leave Massachusetts before the quarantine period is over are permitted to do so. You can see circumstance-specific exceptions to the 14-day quarantine rule on the mass.gov site.
In addition, anyone who has had a negative COVID-19 test in the past 72 hours is exempted from the quarantine. If you've taken a test but haven't gotten a result yet, you must quarantine until you've gotten a negative result.
More information on these and other exemptions are available at mass.gov.
This blog post is the first in a two-part series about traveling during COVID-19. Stay tuned for more information.