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I feel very privileged to represent the people of Cambridge and lead policy changes that impact and strengthen all residents of the Commonwealth. I look forward to staying in touch and keeping you informed about the issues I have been leading on in addition to any issue that is important to you. If you are not on my email list please consider signing up.

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Good evening,

I write to you today with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.

As of today, there are 60 cases of COVID-19 in City of Cambridge (Official). Learn more here: bit.ly/2J2BnQj. There are 4257 cases in Massachusetts, including 842 in Middlesex County. 35,049 patients have been tested in the state, and 44 patients have passed away. Learn more here: bit.ly/2UttM3T.

It was announced yesterday that Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel has tested positive for COVID-19. I wish her a strong recovery.

Cambridge Updates

The Department of Public Works put out a notice reminding residents that sanitizing wipes should be thrown away, not flushed, as they can clog household plumbing and the City's sewer pipes.

State Action Updates

Today, Governor Baker asked Massachusetts residents who are able to do so to give blood in order to prevent the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed. Hundreds of blood donations per day are needed in order to meet current needs. You can learn more about giving blood and find out where to donate here: rcblood.org/3amf3gt.

Federal Action Updates

Massachusetts has been issued a Major Disaster Declaration. This will make federal disaster assistance available, including FEMA’s Public Assistance program and FEMA’s individual assistance program.

FEMA’s Public Assistance program will provide funds to state and local governments and certain private non-profit organizations for their efforts to respond to COVID-19.

FEMA’s Individual Assistance program will provide Crisis Counseling Assistance funding to the Department of Mental Health. This will help to assist individuals and families with the psychological impacts of COVID-19.

You can learn more here: bit.ly/33WWxZQ.

Unemployment Insurance Updates

The Pioneer Valley Workers Center has created a free online tool to help those who speak Spanish fill out unemployment claims, as the state’s online portal is only available in English. You can find the tool here: bit.ly/39s1evN and learn more about it here: bit.ly/33UzleM.

Where to donate:

If you are able to give to others during this time, I encourage you to look to the following places that are working to help those most impacted by COVID-19:

Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund: bit.ly/3bgTBJU

Cambridge Community Foundation: bit.ly/33ImGeE

Food For Free: bit.ly/3afFuEE

The Greater Boston Food Bank: www.gbfb.org/

Cradles to Crayons Massachusetts Emergency Essentials Fund: bit.ly/2WHOD4V

Enroot Emergency Immigrant Cash Assistance Fund: bit.ly/2y7bBIe

If you are interested in seeing previous COVID-19 updates, you can find them here:https://www.decker4rep.com/news/ As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.

Sincerely,

Marjorie
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2 days ago  ·  

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Dear friends,

I write to you today with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.

As of today, there are 46 cases of COVID-19 in City of Cambridge (Official). There are 3240 cases in Massachusetts, including 685 in Middlesex County. 29,371 patients have been tested in Massachusetts and 35 patients in the state have passed away. Learn more here: bit.ly/3bx5ziu.

Cambridge Update:

The City of Cambridge is providing COVID-19 information in Amharic, Arabic, Bangla, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese. You can find these multilingual help resources here: bit.ly/2wKXAzA

The city is suspending adding interest and late fees to water and sewer bills due between March 30th and June 30th.

The city will be temporarily absorbing credit card and ACH fees for online payments paid through their Invoice Cloud payment portal until further notice.

Thank you to Cambridge’s own Eric Lander and all of those at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard which started processing COVID-19 tests on Tuesday and can run more than 1,000 per day. Learn more here: wbur.fm/2UpaOLK.

State Action Updates

The state income tax filing deadline has been moved to July 15th to align with the federal filing deadline.

Governor Baker has asked all travelers arriving in Massachusetts to self-quarantine for 14 days. MassDOT will be distributing flyers with information on this to transportation hubs in the state, and information will also be posted on highway message boards.

The Attorney General’s office has filed an emergency regulation to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive debt collection. It prohibits creditors from engaging in methods of debt collection that require people to leave their homes or have in person contact and from making unsolicited debt collection telephone calls to consumers. You can learn more here:https://www.mass.gov/doc/ma-reg/download

The AG’s office has also prohibited the price gouging of essential products and services during the Public Health emergency. If you see price gouging, you can file a report here: bit.ly/3apskVn or call the Consumer Hotline at this number: 617-727-8400.

Public Health Updates:

The state has launched the Buoy Health 24/7 Online Tool which all Massachusetts residents can use free of charge to check their symptoms and connect with health care resources. You can find the tool here: www.buoy.com/mass

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses in good standing will be given greater flexibility in prescribing.

The governor’s administration and Massachusetts Medical Society have partnered to match health care professional volunteers with communities and health care providers. They are in need of respiratory therapists and public health nurses. If you’re interested in volunteering, you can sign up here: MAResponds.org.

Federal Action Updates:

Today, Congress passed $2 trillion in emergency spending to address COVID-19 through the CARES Act. This legislation will:
Directly send $1,200 cash to Americans making less than $75,000 per year with an additional $500 per child.
Expand unemployment benefits by providing an increase of $600 per week, waiving waiting weeks, extend federally-funded benefits by 13 weeks, and expanding access to unemployment insurance to those who are self-employed or work in the gig economy.
Dedicate $377 billion to small business relief efforts, including $350 for loan forgiveness grants.
Dedicate $150 billion fund for hospitals and providers for needs related to COVID-19
Provide increased funding to states, tribes and local governments

Where to donate

While grateful for the benefits in the federal CARES Act, I am deeply upset to see that tax paying immigrants without a social security number will not receive the $1200 cash benefit. These are families who are struggling just as much if not more than many others. If you know of an organization in your community supporting and advocating for immigrant justice, now is the time to donate.

In Cambridge, one place to look is the Enroot Emergency Immigrant Cash Assistance Fund, which will provide short term assistance to Enroot students and their families. You can learn more about this fund and donate to it here: bit.ly/2y7bBIe.

Additionally, you can donate to the following places which are working to help those most impacted by COVID-19:

Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund: bit.ly/3bgTBJU

Cambridge Community Foundation: bit.ly/33ImGeE

Food For Free: bit.ly/3afFuEE

The Greater Boston Food Bank: www.gbfb.org/

Cradles to Crayons Massachusetts Emergency Essentials Fund: bit.ly/2WHOD4V

If you are interested in seeing previous COVID-19 updates, you can find them here: www.decker4rep.com/news/ As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.

Sincerely,

Marjorie
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3 days ago  ·  

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Dear friends,

I write to you with relevant COVID-19 updates.

There are 39 cases of COVID-19 in City of Cambridge (Official). Learn more here: bit.ly/2J2BnQj. There are 2,417 cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, including 538 in Middlesex County. 23,621 patients have been tested for COVID in the state. 25 patients have passed away from COVID-19 in the state. Learn more here:https://bit.ly/3an5Jc7.

Cambridge Updates

The Cambridge Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant is now accepting applications. Grants of up to $6,000 will be provided to HUD eligible brick and mortar businesses. You can learn more about the program and apply for a grant here: bit.ly/3anZHbp.

Cradles to Crayons Massachusetts has been partnering with Food For Free to distribute diapers and hygiene items to those in need. It has also established an Emergency Essentials Fund which will distribute items like diapers, school supplies, and hygiene items to their partner organizations. You can learn more about the fund and donate to it here: bit.ly/2WHOD4V.

The city is delaying all street cleaning until May 1st. Learn more here: bit.ly/39krHvg

The Cambridge Health Alliance is asking those who are able to help make masks. They ask that masks are created using two layers of material and that they include a "pocket" on the inside where a filter can be inserted. They ask that you use cotton fabric, and use this pattern: bit.ly/33PSOgv.

State Action Updates

Governor Baker has submitted a request for a Major Disaster Declaration for Massachusetts through FEMA, which would give the state additional federal assistance. This would include funding for municipalities and disaster unemployment insurance for those who do not typically qualify for unemployment insurance, including contract workers and those who participate in the gig economy. Learn more here:https://bit.ly/3dz0SXx.

The Newton Pavilion in Boston will be reopened to house up to 250 homeless COVID-19 patients, offering treatment and acting as an outpatient facility. The state is also working with homeless providers across the state to facilitate capacity for homeless individuals.

Public Health Updates

An executive order has been issued to expedite approval for pharmacists licensed in other states to practice in MA. It also allows for remote prescription processing. Learn more here: bit.ly/2WPCURJ.

Certain hospitals are exempt from certain nurse staffing requirements and must ensure that staffing remains adequate to meet the needs of patients. Learn more here: bit.ly/3bvbe8Y.

Health care facilities are no longer required to submit a Notice of Determination of Need for certain activities to respond to COVID-19. Learn more here: bit.ly/3asK6Yc.

The state has come up with a partnership to deploy personal care attendants to individuals with disabilities in the event that their personal care attendant can no longer work. Hiring processes for PCAs will be streamlined, and PCAs will be allowed to work more hours.

The state is working with deans of medical schools to look at early graduation dates to expand the provider workforce.

Where to donate:

If you are able to give to others during this time, I encourage you to look to the following places that are working to help those most impacted by COVID-19:

Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund: bit.ly/3bgTBJU

Cambridge Community Foundation: bit.ly/33ImGeE

Food For Free: bit.ly/3afFuEE

The Greater Boston Food Bank: www.gbfb.org/

Cradles to Crayons Emergency Essentials Fund: bit.ly/2WHOD4V

If you are interested in seeing previous COVID-19 updates, you can find them here:https://www.decker4rep.com/news/ As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.

Sincerely,

Marjorie
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4 days ago  ·  

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