I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, 1564 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 153,229 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 1,488 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 2,723,201 patients have been tested, and 9,750 have passed away. Learn more here.
State Action Updates
Massachusetts reports 1,243 new coronavirus cases, 27 deaths as average positive tests increases to 1.8%
Massachusetts health officials confirmed another 1,243 coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing the statewide total to 151,741. That’s based on 18,333 new molecular tests, according to the Department of Public Health. Officials also announced another 27 COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 9,727. The seven-day average of positive tests remains elevated at 1.8%, which is nearly double the level it was at in September. The three-day average of hospitalizations and COVID-related deaths is also up. There were 18,333 new individuals tested. The number of Massachusetts communities that have seen an average of 8 new daily cases per 100,000 residents increased to 121 on Thursday as well. Read more here.
Delay In COVID Relief Funds Riles Mass. Lawmakers
Three months after Gov. Charlie Baker signed a more than $1.1 billion COVID relief spending bill, the administration has made the final $213 million available for dozens of nonprofits, municipal departments and hospitals to claim, with just two months left until much of the federal money used to cover the spending expires. The delay in the release of the funding has become a point of tension and frustration between Democratic leadership in the Legislature and the Baker administration as the two sides try to work together to build a long-term spending plan for the state that will carry the government through to next July. While the administration now says that all but $89.7 million has been spent or made available for release from that July budget bill, lawmakers and staff say they remain uncertain about how much of the money has made it into the hands of the organizations for whom it was earmarked. Read more here.
COVID-19 cases in Mass. Schools up sharply
State education officials reported a 41 percent increase in coronavirus cases identified in Massachusetts schools from October 22 to October 28 compared to the previous 7-day period. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reported 286 new coronavirus cases in schools over the recent 7-day reporting period, up from 202 during the week of October 15 to 22. Of the new cases, 201 were diagnosed in students and 85 among school staff members. The new numbers were released amid growing concern about a resurgence of the virus statewide. The number of cases in schools is still very small as a percentage of the population, with roughly 450,000 K-12 students back in Massachusetts school buildings for at least part of the week. There are roughly 75,000 school staff members. According to state reports, there have been 908 coronavirus cases reported in schools over the past six weeks. Read more here.
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates:
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today.
Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report for October 29, 2020 shows Cambridge as a Lower-Risk “Green” Community. View 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:
- John the Evangelist Church, located at 2270 Massachusetts Avenue, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Wednesday, October 28.
- There is no testing on Saturday October 31 at the Pisani Center, located at 131 Washington Street. Testing will resume next Saturday. Please stay tuned for updates.
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.