As of today, 497 Cambridge residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 17 have passed away. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/2J2BnQj. There are 34,402 cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, including 7,744 in Middlesex County. 148,744 patients have been tested in the state and 1404 people have passed away. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/2XM1H9F.
Today, the City of Cambridge distributed $88,308 from the Mayor's Disaster Relief Fund to Cambridge residents. The City received 645 applications for the fund and approved 74. You can apply for funds from the Mayor's Disaster Relief Fund through this online application: https://bit.ly/2VkR4YM or by calling the phone assistance line at 617-349-9797. The phone line offers multilingual support in Amharic, Arabic, Bangla, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Spanish, and additional language support is provided on an as-needed basis.
The City and the Public Health Department launched a COVID-19 Data Center in efforts to present COVID-19 data in a user-friendly way to the community. Find it here: https://bit.ly/2VGPtws.
Multilingual resources are always available on the City of Cambridge's website. This includes translated information on city resources and about COVID-19. You can find them here: https://bit.ly/2wKXAzA.
State Action Updates
Today, the Governor's administration announced that DCF will be making a $100 monthly payment to foster parents for each child placement to help to cover increased costs that foster families are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. These payments will happen on the 15th of April, May, and June.
The administration also outlined its ongoing strategy to meet the needs of those experiencing homelessness. You can read about the administration's initiatives here: https://bit.ly/3cqnaJn.
Today, the Legislature enacted two bills. One would place a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during the state of emergency, and the other would provide additional liability protection to health care workers. Both bills are on Governor Baker's desk.
The Supreme Judicial Court has ruled to reduce the number of signatures candidates need to receive to be on the ballot in the fall by 50%. The use of some electronic signatures will be allowed. The signature deadline for those running for state and county offices will be extended until May 5th. Learn more here: https://wbur.fm/2KbUkAn.
Yesterday, the administration issued an emergency order that authorizes the Department of Early Education and Care to establish emergency sites for children and youth living in residential homes that have tested positive for COVID-19. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/2z4RE5m.
Earlier this week, House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz, Senate Ways and Means Chair Michael Rodrigues, and Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance Michael Heffernan hosted an economic roundtable with economists and budget analysts. Tax collections in the state are projected to fall between $4 billion and $6 billion below estimates for FY21, and it is not yet clear what the economic recovery from COVID-19 will look like. You can learn more about the roundtable and projections here: https://www.wbur.org/news/2020/04/14/massachusetts-covid-19-coronavirus-budget-recession.
Where to donate
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: https://bit.ly/3bgTBJU
Cambridge Health Alliance: https://bit.ly/2vWegUB
Cambridge Community Foundation: https://bit.ly/33ImGeE
Food for Free: https://bit.ly/3afFuEE
Greater Boston Food Bank: https://www.gbfb.org/
Cradles to Crayons Emergency Essentials Fund: https://bit.ly/2WHOD4V
Enroot Emergency Immigrant Cash Assistance Fund: https://bit.ly/2y7bBIe
As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.