I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, 1507 Cambridge residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 100 residents have passed away, according to the state's database. Learn more here. There have been 144,895 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 968 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 2,595,974 patients have been tested, and 9,608 have passed away. Learn more here.
State Action Updates
'The Numbers Don't Look Good' As Mass. Coronavirus Indicators Continue To Rise
Thursday afternoon, report 986 new confirmed coronavirus cases. The highest one-day increase since May and put nearly 80 cities and towns about one-fifth of communities into the high-risk red zone. If you take a step back and look at the state numbers, you see a very sharp spike in the spring, then much lower levels in the summer, and more recently a slow, fairly steady rise in cases. That rise is not nearly as dramatic as the spring spike, but it's sparking concerns about the outlook for this fall and winter, and whether the state is at the start of another surge. To use a mountain analogy, the central question is whether the current rise will turn out to be a relatively gentle mound or the foothills of a much taller, steeper peak — the start of a second surge. Read more here.
New COVID-19 numbers highest in Massachusetts’ youngest age group
Confirmed COVID-19 infections among Massachusetts residents younger than 20 are higher than they have been through the entire pandemic, prompting one leading expert to say the rising caseload is likely a reflection of increased testing and another to warn it could forecast a wave of transmission in older adults. While some communities are backing away from in-person learning amid a statewide increase in cases, the infection rate among the state’s youngest age group has grown more rapidly in the past two months than any other cohort. Officials have been consistently pointing to unsafe behavior among young adults as driving a significant portion of the uptick. Between Oct. 5 and Oct. 18, the Department of Public Health recorded 1,914 new cases of the highly infectious coronavirus among residents between the ages of 0 and 19, more than in any of the seven other age groups, according to data published Thursday. Read more here.
129 student, 73 staff cases of COVID reported in Massachusetts schools in last week
State education officials on Thursday said that a total of 202 coronavirus cases have been identified in Massachusetts schools from October 15 to October 21. Those cases include 129 students and 73 staff members, spread out between districts, approved special education schools and education collaboratives, according to data released Thursday by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Districts reported 126 student cases and 68 staff cases. Approved special education schools reported two student cases and two staff cases, and education collaboratives reported one student case and three staff cases. Read more here.
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates:
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today.
City of Cambridge Helps Restaurants Extend Outdoor Dining Season Safely with New Patio Heater Reimbursement Program
As part of its ongoing efforts to support the local business community and extend the outdoor dining season safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Cambridge announced a new Patio Heater Reimbursement Program. In addition to supporting outdoor dining, residents can support their favorite local eatery by participating in the “Pick It Up, Cambridge” campaign. This campaign aims to inform patrons that they can save restaurants as much as 25% per order by calling them directly and picking up orders. The House of Representatives included language in it's Economic Development bill passed in late July that would cap third party delivery fees (these fees can consume most and sometimes all of the restaurant's profits) The bill is stuck in a conference committee--with the hopes that the Senate will concede to the House language. This simple step can help ensure that restaurants receive the entirety of the transaction. Selecting or ordering pick-up via delivery apps can cost restaurants a significant portion of the order. Read more here.
In-person early voting will run from Saturday, October 17th to Friday, October 30th, at 3 locations in Cambridge:
- Longfellow Community School - 359 Broadway, rear entrance
- Cambridge Water Department - 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
- Valente Library - 826 Cambridge Street, side entrance on Berkshire Street
- Weekdays, Monday to Friday - 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Saturday, Oct. 17th, Sunday, Oct. 18th, and Sunday, Oct. 25th - 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- Saturday, Oct. 24th - 1:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Cambridge flu clinics are now open. The Cambridge Public Health Department is ramping up its efforts to vaccinate more residents than in previous years, with the goal of administering 10,000 flu shots this season. The flu vaccine is being donated by Cambridge Health Alliance. Cambridge residents can get a free flu shot at the health department's public clinics. The first four clinics will be held indoors on Oct. 15, Oct. 21 (two clinics), and Oct. 22 at the King Open School, 850 Cambridge Street in the Wellington-Harrington neighborhood. Outdoor clinics will be held on Oct. 28-29 at Starlight Square (the parking lot at the corner of Norfolk St. and Bishop Allen Dr. in Central Square) and at Danehy Park/Fresh Pond Plaza on Nov. 14. Flu shot appointments are required this year. To schedule an appointment online, go to https://cphd-flu-2020.as.me. The City's Flu Clinic Call Center at 617-349-9788 will open next week for those who wish to make appointments by phone. You can learn more about the clinics here.
Contactless Holds Pickup Service hours at the O'Neill Branch, 70 Rindge Ave., Cambridge have been extended. The new schedule, which will go into effect on Wednesday, October 7, is as follows:
Wednesdays, 1:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Thursdays, 11:00 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.
Fridays, 11:00 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.
Where to Get Tested
Testing appointments through the City's free mobile-testing program are now available at the following locations:
- Pisani Center located at 131 Washington Street, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., on Saturday, October 24.
- St. John the Evangelist Church, located at 2270 Massachusetts Avenue, 10:00am - 6:00pm on Wednesday, October 21.
You can schedule an appointment online or by calling 617-665-3795.
Translation Resources Available
Multilingual city resources and information on COVID-19 are available on the City's multilingual help page.
Where to Give
On Fridays, Cambridge CoHousing will be collecting food for the Chelsea Food Collaborative. Drop off is between 9 AM to 3:30 PM at 175 Richdale Ave, the entrance to CoHousing, either in a paper bag or small box. If you don't see someone at the moment you come, please leave it just inside the gate where we will have boxes marked "For Chelsea."
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 affected by COVID-19:
I also encourage you to donate to the following organizations that are engaging in racial justice work:
As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.