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COVID-19 guidance and information for DDS individuals and families

Coronavirus Update for Individuals and Families on behalf of Commissioner Jane Ryder

Commissioner Jane Ryder
Department of Developmental Services
March 16, 2020

Dear DDS Community:

I’d like to provide an update on the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) response to COVID-19.  As you know, Governor Baker has declared a State of Emergency and DDS is taking all necessary precautions and actions to protect your loved ones – their health and safety is our top priority. 

The Central, Regional, and Area Offices of DDS will remain open; however, we are actively making operational changes to respond to this public health emergency.


If you or anyone in your family has symptoms of illness (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) or potential exposure to COVID-19, please take these steps:

Contact the primary care physician and follow their guidance
Contact the Massachusetts DPH epidemiology line: (617) 983-6800
Contact your DDS Area Office

For the latest information from DPH on COVID-19, please visit:


Your Area Office will remain the primary DDS point-of-contact for you regarding ongoing services and supports.  Provider agencies have been directed to contact you immediately should they decide to close or alter service schedules.  Area Offices will remain in contact with you to help mitigate any disruptions and ensure needed supports are addressed.  

Meetings and Events

While DDS offices remain open, we are encouraging individuals and families not to visit offices until further notice.  All in-person meetings, site visits, and work-related travel for state employees has been discontinued until further notice.  We are advising our employees that all regular internal business, such as ISP meetings and provider contract meetings, may continue to be conducted remotely using conference calls, WebEx and other group communication tools.  

The situation remains fluid so we will continue to update the DDS website and our social media channels as information becomes available.  Please call your Area Office with any immediate questions or for assistance. 


Thank you,

Jane F. Ryder


Department of Developmental Services