I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, 2,561 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 269,929 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 5,475 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 99,181 tests have been performed today, and 11,257 have passed away. Learn more here.
Governor Charlie Baker announced a 3 phase COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan. The 1st round of vaccine shipments to MA are expected to begin around 12/15. The vaccine will be free and insurance won’t charge copayments/out-of-pocket costs. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and the state’s vaccination phases plan here: https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine-in-massachusetts
State Action Updates
Mass. COVID Hot Spots: Record Number of Towns, Cities in High-Risk Red Zone
There are now 158 communities considered at the highest risk for transmitting the new coronavirus in Massachusetts, according to the latest weekly community-level data on the pandemic. It’s a new record and a massive increase of 61 from the 97 towns and cities in the report’s red zone last week — the numbers have steadily been increasing for weeks, as have coronavirus case numbers. (See this week’s full red zone list below.) The previous record was 121, when the state had a different definition of high risk for communities. This week’s report, from the Department of Public Health, also puts all of Massachusetts in the red zone. Read more here.
Massachusetts reports 5,130 new COVID cases, 41 deaths on Thursday as hospitalizations rise to 1,607
State health officials confirmed another 5,130 coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing the number of active cases of the virus statewide to 63,362. Officials also announced another 41 COVID-related deaths, bringing the total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic to 10,963. The number of COVID hospitalizations increased to 1,607 on Thursday, which includes 307 patients in intensive care, data shows. The seven-day average of positive tests ticked down slightly to 5.67%. But the average is up from a low of .8% observed just a few months ago. Read more here.
923 At Massachusetts Schools Test Positive For COVID-19 In Last Week
There have been 923 new COVID-19 cases among students and staff in Massachusetts schools in the last week, according to the latest data from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Districts reported 503 cases among students and 420 among staff members in schools between December 3 and December 9. Since September 24th, when the weekly release of data started, 2,387 students and 1,704 staff have tested positive. Read more here.
Baker Press Conference Updates:
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today.
Harvard University COVID-19 information, click here
MIT COVID-19 information, click here
Department of Human Service Programs Offering Free Virtual Programming
This winter, the Department of Human Service Programs is offering DHSP Online, free virtual programming for young people in kindergarten through eighth grade. Beginning Monday, December 14, Cambridge youth can join their peers in virtual activities led by DHSP staff. Virtual activities will be offered Monday through Friday from 3:00-6:00 p.m. via Zoom or Google Classroom, depending on the child’s grade. Click here to download the Virtual Programming Flyer.
Good Riddance 2020
The Cambridge Historical Society wants you to break free from 2020’s relentless negativity, safely and socially distanced with their Good Riddance 2020 event. This has been a hard year for everyone. This is your chance to commemorate your own journey, let it go, and move into 2021 with a fresh perspective. Drop by their headquarters to write down the things you wish to leave behind from 2020. Your thoughts will be run through a shredder and recycled. Then write down your hopes, dreams, and wishes on a piece of seeded paper – all that you have learned and gained from 2020 that you want to take with you into 2021. Take home your creation and plant it. Then tag the Cambridge Historical Society on social media with photos of your seedlings as they grow using #seedlingsofhope. Learn more about the event here.
- When: Saturday, December 12 from 2-4 pm (Weather date Dec 13, 2-4 pm)
- Where: Cambridge Historical Society, 159 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138
- Cost: FREE, all are welcome
- Help us build a playlist for the event by sharing what song sums up 2020 for you using #goodriddancemixtape. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to offer your suggestions.
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 10×10 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 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:
- Monday – 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm
- Tuesday – 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm
- Wednesday – 2254 Massachusetts Ave, St. John the Evangelist Church, 10:00am – 6:00pm
- Thursday – CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, 11:00am – 7:00pm (Drive-through testing in garage. Enter on First St.)
- Friday – 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm
- Saturday – Pisani Center located at 131 Washington Street. 11:00am – 7:00pm
- Sunday – CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, 11:00am – 7:00pm (Drive-through testing in garage. Enter on First St.)
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
One in Eight of Our Cambridge Neighbors is Experiencing Hunger
Cambridge friends, one in eight of our neighbors are experiencing hunger and food insecurity, and while our food pantries are fighting to keep food on the table, they can’t do it alone. This holiday season, give the gift of food security to your neighbors by supporting food access organizations and the newly launched Cambridge Challenge Against Hunger with a generous donation. With a gift of just $100, you can feed four families on Food For Free’s Home Delivery program, and help bring a new meaning to the ‘season of giving.’ If you would like to donate, click here. For a full list of Cambridge organizations to donate to, click here.
Cambridge Community Center
In partnership with the Central Square BID, the Cambridge Community Center (CCC) has launched a safe, socially-distanced Food & Supply Pantry. The pantry is open Tuesdays – Fridays 1:00pm – 3:00pm at 5 Callender street, Cambridge MA (Gymnasium Entrance). The CCC have received generous food donations from our friends at Food For Free and Lovin’ Spoonfuls, and have been able to offer community members healthy options, including fresh fruits and vegetables as well as other quality grocery items. In addition to food donations, here are some other supplies that are in need for the pantry.
- Feminine hygiene products (preferably pads)
- General hygiene products (shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.)
- Toilet paper
- Household cleaning supplies
Even if you’re not able to donate to our COVID-19 Relief Fund, you can still support the pantry by spreading the word!
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.”
For the four upcoming Fridays (11/27, 12/4, 12/11, 12/18) Cambridge Cohousing invites you to donate a children’s book with your food donation — a new or in very new-like condition for children ages infant to 10 years old. Our partner in Chelsea is very grateful. They say that not only will the children benefit but also adults who are learning English or learning to read to and with their children. They will distribute during the holiday seasons coming up. Thanks for your continued support.
A Collective Kindness Effort
Cambridge Camping has been serving low-income families for 127 years. I feel honored to be an alum of their summer camp program. Now, more than ever, our children need support, connection to mentors and peers, and the opportunity to create and share joy. Since COVID, CCA has innovated to support its families, providing necessary services – diapers, food, school supplies – and safely offered in person and virtual programming. Cambridge Camping has risen to the COVID challenge and proven that relationships and connection are stronger than any virus.
As we enter this season of giving and gratitude, CCA is grateful for the support we’ve received to date, yet we are $3,000 away from our goal which will allow us to provide gift baskets of hearty holiday food and toys to camper families. Please help us raise $3,000 by December 15 and together we will bring joy and much needed essential relief. If you cannot contribute, please share and join us in our wish for a peaceful, healthy 2021. Donate here today.
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.