Information about COVID-19 has been changing from the time the virus arrived in Cambridge in early 2020. This page provides links to the most up-to-date sources of information about isolation and exposure guidance and COVID-19 treatment for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who were exposed to the virus. For prevention, visit our How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19 page. 

Testing, Isolation, and Exposure Guidelines

If you test positive for COVID-19, tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed. If you have symptoms, or test positive, you are required to isolate. This means staying home, except to get medical care. To avoid infecting those you live with, try to stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom if possible. Avoid sharing items such as cups, towels, and utensils. Wear high-quality masks if distancing is not possible. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Isolation and Exposure Guidelines provide further details.

Treatment for a COVID-19 Infection

If you have COVID-19, seeking treatment right away can help prevent serious illness. Call your doctor to discuss treatment if you develop symptoms. Free COVID-19 treatments are available in Massachusetts to people who are at high risk for severe disease. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health also offers telehealth appointments, treatment sites, and in-home treatment for those who are eligible.

When Can I Stop Isolation?

Specific isolation and quarantine standards are in place for those who work in schools, in childcare, and for some healthcare workers. Children returning to school, childcare, or camp must follow guidelines as well.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health provides information on those returning to work in other business sectors.


Have questions or need support? Call the COVID-19 Hotline at 617-933-0797. Public health staff can answer questions about treatment, vaccines, and testing. Staff can also connect you to community resources (food, COVID-19 tests and masks, primary care, etc.). The Massachusetts Department of Public Health also provides answers to frequently asked questions.

Presentations & Data

Additional Resources 

Updated: June 28, 2023