Friday 11/20 COVID-19 Updates

Dear all,

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

As of today, 1,981 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 194,338 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 2,288 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 71,269 patients have been tested today, and 10,469 have passed away. Learn more here.


Harvard University COVID-19 information, click here.

MIT COVID-19 information, click here.


State Action Updates

62 Massachusetts cities and towns now considered ‘high risk’ for COVID transmission, according to state

Sixty-two Massachusetts cities and towns are now classified as “high risk” for coronavirus spread based on new metrics health officials are using to determine risk levels in communities. Last week, the number of cities and towns designated high risk was 30 after the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced changes to the way they classify communities on the statewide map. Read more here.

Number Of COVID-19 Hospitalizations In Mass. Continues To Climb

The number of people hospitalized in Massachusetts is continuing to climb as the state grapples with a second surge of COVID-19 cases. There were nearly 920 people reported hospitalized Thursday because of confirmed cases of COVID-19, and more than 180 in intensive care units. That’s a significant jump from the approximately 360 reported hospitalized two months ago. The number of newly confirmed coronavirus deaths increased by 27 on Thursday. The state reported more than 2,500 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19. On average, about 2,620 cases had been confirmed per day in the seven days running up to Wednesday, according to The COVID Tracking Project. The number of probable or confirmed COVID-19 deaths reported in long-term care facilities rose to 6,645 -- or nearly 64% of all probable and confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the state. Read more here.

COVID cases at Massachusetts schools rise with 398 students, 254 staffers testing positive in past week

A total of 652 coronavirus cases were reported in Massachusetts schools from Nov. 12 to Nov. 18, education officials said Thursday, excluding children who are learning remotely. Those cases are among 398 students and 254 staffers at districts, education collaboratives and approved special education schools, according to a weekly report from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This week’s report shows a sizeable increase compared to the number of cases reported last week. Last Thursday, the department announced there were 191 students and 157 staff members with positive tests for the virus from Nov. 5 to Nov. 11. New case counts are high across the state, with 2,532 confirmed cases reported by health officials Thursday. There are currently about 34,664 active cases of the virus. Districts reported 388 student cases and 238 staff cases. Education collaboratives reported six student cases and six staff cases. Approved special education schools reported four student cases and 10 staff cases, according to the department. Read more here.


Baker Press Conference Updates:

Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today.


Cambridge Updates

The Cambridge community is coming together to support a local family in the Port neighborhood who lost everything this past Tuesday due to the two-alarm fire that happened on Columbia Street. This family is very active in Cambridge. Cortland Townes is the assistant varsity coach for the CRLS Women’s basketball team, and in his spare time, volunteers at different youth centers throughout the city, teaching kids the game of basketball. Townes’ mother Christina Smith operates her business, a daycare out of her residence that was recently just able to open up after being forced to shut down due to COVID-19. It is saddening to see a selfless family lose everything in a pandemic, especially around the holidays. A GoFundMe page was created for the family, and if you would like to donate, you can here.


Popportunity Market

Popportunity is a COVID-safe, outdoor, winter market held at Starlight Square in Central Square, Cambridge. Opening on Small Business Saturday, November 28th, Popportunity will run every Saturday and Sunday, 11am - 5pm, through December 20th. Artists, makers, and retailers can apply for a 10x10 market tent or a Pop-Mini stall here.

Thank you to the Central Square Business Improvement District for providing a safe space where we can support our neighbors and our local economy.


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. People who live and work in Cambridge can get a flu shot at no charge at one of the flu clinics run by the Cambridge Public Health. Flu shot appointments are required this year. To schedule an appointment online, go to 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:


  • CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, 11:00am – 7:00pm (Drive-through testing in garage. Enter on First St.) Sundays and Thursdays
  • 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm (beginning November 9th) Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays
  • 2254 Massachusetts Ave, St. John the Evangelist Church, 10:00am – 6:00pm Wednesdays
  • Pisani Center located at 131 Washington Street. 11:00am – 7:00pm Saturdays


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 2:30 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:


Mayor's Disaster Relief Fund


Cambridge Health Alliance


Cambridge Community Foundation


Food for Free


Greater Boston Food Bank


Cradles to Crayons Emergency Essentials Fund


Mount Auburn Hospital


The One Chelsea Fund


I also encourage you to donate to the following organizations that are engaging in racial justice work:


Louis D. Brown Peace Institute


Families for Justice as Healing


Prisoners' Legal Services


Boston NAACP


Massachusetts Bail Fund


ACLU of Massachusetts


Union of Minority Neighborhoods


As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at












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