The Baker-Polito administration issued specific guidance so that each industry reopens as safely as possible. Businesses are expected to implement these protocols in addition to the more general Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards.
Statewide Facemask Order
Governor Baker issued a statewide facemask order effective May 6, and extended it to public transportation. Residents should continue to follow the Governor's Order, the City Orders and continue practicing social distancing and wear masks or face coverings.
- Any person over the age of two must wear a face mask or cloth face covering, in a place open to the public in the Commonwealth, whether indoors or outdoors, and is unable to, or does not maintain a distance of approximately six feet from every other person.
- Except a person who is unable to wear a face mask or cloth face covering due to a medical condition or otherwise exempted by DPH Guidance.
- DPH will issue further guidance on the use of masks for children between two years and five years of age.
- Order applies to all workers and all customers of all businesses and organizations that are open to the public that are permitted to operate as COVID-19 Essential Businesses.
- All persons are required to wear masks or cloth face coverings at all times inside:
- Grocery stores
- Other retail stores
- When providing or using the services of a taxi, car, livery, ride-sharing or similar service.
- When using any means of mass transit, or in an enclosed or semi-enclosed transit stop or waiting area.
- If a customer refuses to wear a mask of cloth face covering for non-medical reasons, a business may decline entry to that individual.
- The DPH and local boards of health and authorized agents under MGL c. 111, s. 30 are authorized to enforce the Order, and if necessary may do so with the assistance of local and state police.
- Violation of the Order or DPH Guidance may result in a civil fine of up to $300 per violation, in the manner provided for non-criminal disposition of violations of municipal by-law, ordinance, rule or regulation pursuant to MGL c. 40, s. 21D.
- View Full Order
Current City of Worcester COVID-19 Status
Due to the expiration of the federal and state COVID-19 public health emergencies on May 11, 2023 and based on current trends, the City's COVID-19 dashboard is no longer updated on a regular basis. Health officials will continue to monitor cases internally and follow necessary protocols in the case of clusters of concern.
Walk-up testing at the UMass Memorial Health clinic at the Mercantile Center concluded on March 30, 2023. Current testing sites in the area, including pharmacies, retailers and health care facilities, can be found at testinglocator.cdc.gov.
For a limited time, the public can order a round of free at-home COVID-19 tests (4 per household) from www.COVIDtests.gov if they have not already done so since December 15, 2022
Anyone ages 6 months and older is eligible to receive a vaccine, and fully vaccinated individuals ages 5 and older are eligible and encouraged to receive an updated (bivalent) COVID-19 booster shot.
Where to Get Vaccinated
Residents may contact their healthcare provider or local pharmacy to inquire about vaccine availability, and they are encouraged to check with their insurance provider regarding potential out-of-pocket cost.
In-home vaccinations remain available for anyone who has difficulty getting to or using a community vaccination location, including children 6 months to 17 years old.
You may schedule an appointment by calling the In-Home Vaccination Central Intake Line (operated by CDR Health) at 833-983-0485 or on the CDR Health Patient Portal page. Phone representatives are available in both English and Spanish, and they also have access to translators for over 100 other languages.
In-home vaccinations will be:
- Scheduled within a week of request.
- Performed by fully vaccinated medical professionals, following all public health safety guidelines.
- Tailored to meet the individual needs of the individual, as discussed on the scheduling call.
American Rescue Plan Act
The City of Worcester was awarded approximately $146 million from the US Department of Treasury and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts related to American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Executive Orders and Emergency Regulations
Please visit Informing Worcester to view rescinded COVID-19 Executive Orders and Emergency Regulations.
The following is a current listing of community resources and aid for residents and businesses in the City of Worcester impacted by COVID-19:
We understand that these are unprecedented times in all of our lives, which can lead to stress and pressure at home. Below are some important resources for when you need someone to talk to:
- Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
- Substance Abuse/Mental Health Helpline: 1-800-662-4357
- Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
- Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
- YWCA Domestic Hotline: 508-755-9030 or visit their Live Chat
- Safelink Domestic/Dating Violence: 1-877-785-2020
- Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741
- Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990
- Local Mental Health Resources
Below is a collection of protected, masked photos from the "I Am Worcester" Photo Project. Click on a thumbnail below to view a larger image and a profile for each resident:
View Full "Mask-Up" Gallery