The federal COVID-19 public health emergency expired at the end of the day on May 11. Boston Medical Center will continue to provide exceptional care to all of our patients, but you will see some changes across our campus, beginning May 12, since this public health emergency determined how we cared for patients during the pandemic.

We’d like to provide you with information about what this means for you, and we will continue to update you as guidelines change.


Boston Medical Center longer requires masks in either administrative areas or most clinical settings.

Of course, patients, visitors, and hospital staff may still wear masks if they prefer. Masks will be available in the lobbies, all clinics, inpatient floors, and the Emergency Department.

If you are COVID-positive, you (and any visitors) will be required to wear a mask, and the staff will wear N95 masks during your care. 

If you have a cough or other symptoms of an upper respiratory infection (such as the flu or a cold) and your COVID status is either negative or pending, you will be required to wear a mask.


Vaccines are the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19. If you still need to be vaccinated with your first, second, third, or booster doses, please call your primary care doctor.

You can also get the vaccine at a state vaccination center, a local community site, or a pharmacy such as CVS or Walgreens. More details about these sites can be found here.

Many insurance companies will continue to cover the cost of COVID-19 vaccines. Please call your insurance company or your primary care doctor if you’re not sure about the cost.


Most insurance companies have stopped paying for at-home tests. If your doctor orders a COVID-19 test, you might have to pay a copay or another small fee, like with some other medical tests.

You’ll still need to be tested for COVID at BMC in certain situations. These tests will not cost you anything.

  • If you are being admitted to the hospital overnight, you’ll be tested for COVID-19 upon admission.
  • If you are having an operation or procedure at BMC and will then stay overnight in the hospital, you’ll be tested for COVID-19 when you arrive at the hospital. This test is performed to help us decide your location of care following the operation. If you test positive, this may not affect your operation, if you are symptom-free. Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will decide if it is safe to do the operation. Please note that this is a change from patients having to undergo a COVID test during the days before their operations.