Friday 12/18 COVID- 19 Updates

Dear all,

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

As of today, 2,811 Cambridge residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 103 residents have passed away, according to the state’s database. Learn more here. There have been 302,933 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 5,632 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 106,034 tests have been performed today, and 11,610 have passed away. Learn more here.

 

State Action Updates

Massachusetts to Set Up Vaccination Distribution Sites as Early as January

At the Governor’s press conference today, Secretary Sudders confirmed that Massachusetts officials plan to set up vaccination sites for first responders, including police, fire, and medical personnel. Residents and workers at long-term care facilities should also expect to receive vaccinations soon, with Centers for Disease Control’s Long-Term Care Pharmacy Partnership program with CVS and Walgreens leading distribution efforts. Read more here.

Unexpected Reduction in Vaccine Doses May Impact Immunization Timeline

Governor Baker announced Friday that the state order roughly 60,000 Pfizer vaccines in the second round of national distribution, but received 42,900. It is unclear at this time what prompted the reduction, but the Massachusetts Department of Health is in communication with the CDC to determine when additional shipments of the vaccine will be arriving. The first doses of the vaccine were administered this week, with more than 6,200 doses given to health care workers in the state. Read more here.

Baker Press Conference Updates

Governor Baker held a press conference today, focusing on vaccine distribution and unemployment legislation. This week, Massachusetts received 59,475 vaccine doses from Pfizer in the first round of national distribution, and hospitals began immunizing their staff. The Department of Public Health is on track to release a publically available dashboard next week that will detail weekly vaccination rates, including geographic information. The Commonwealth has also put in an order for 120,000 first doses of the Moderna vaccine.

 

Cambridge Updates

Tips for Celebrating a Happy and Safe Holiday Season, click here.

Harvard University COVID-19 information, click here.

MIT COVID-19 information, click 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 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.)

Due to the Broad Institute (testing lab) holiday schedule, testing will not be available at City sites on the following dates:

  • December 23, 24, and 25. (Testing will resume on Saturday, December 26)
  • December 30, 31 and January 1. (Testing will resume on Saturday, January 2)

Additional testing sites on Monday, December 21 and December 28: In addition to testing at 50 Church Street in Harvard Square, there will be testing at CambridgeSide (vehicle entrance located at 88 First Street), from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on these days. Note: The CambridgeSide location is a drive-through testing site in the parking garage. For safety reasons, this site cannot accommodate anyone arriving by bicycle or on foot.

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.

  • Diapers
  • Formula
  • 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.”

 

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 Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.

 

Sincerely,

Marjorie

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