I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, 1488 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 141,474 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 827 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 2,532,287 patients have been tested, and 9,532 have passed away. Learn more here.
State Action Updates
Massachusetts has filed an interim plan for distributing coronavirus vaccines, as required by the CDC. The state plan follows the CDC's playbook, laying out three phrases of delivery as more vaccines become available, both in volume and variety. Massachusetts says it expects to receive between 20,000 and 60,000 doses of vaccines in phase one. Priority, as suggested by the CDC, would go to health care and other essential workers who are treating COVID-19 patients or who may be exposed to these patients, as well as residents at greatest risk for severe cases of the disease. In phase two, as more vaccine doses and varieties become available, Massachusetts says it will rely on community health centers to vaccinate patients of color and those in lower-income areas that have seen higher rates of COVID-19 than the state as a whole. In phase three, when there is enough medicine to vaccinate all state residents, the Baker administration says it plans to work to make sure everyone gets free shots as quickly as possible. Read more here.
The number of newly-reported cases is the highest the state has seen in a single day since May 24, when 1,013 new cases were reported. There were 17,654 new molecular tests conducted, with an approximately 4.68% daily positive rate. This marks the fourth straight day the state's positivity rate is above 4%. The last time that happened was from June 3-6. As of Monday, 500 patients with the coronavirus were hospitalized in Massachusetts, of which 86 were reported to be in an intensive care unit. In its weekly COVID-19 data report released last Wednesday, the DPH identified 63 Massachusetts communities that are currently at high risk of the coronavirus. Each of those communities has a rate of average daily cases that is greater than eight per 100,000 over the past 14 days. In addition, the statewide rate of average daily cases is also in the red, with 8.7 cases per 100,000 in the last two weeks. Read more here.
Massachusetts delays the resumption of jury trials until early next month. The earliest potential start date for jury trials will be extended to November 9, Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey said in a statement last week. The delay comes amid a rising number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the state. The Supreme Judicial Court previously had authorized the first phase of the resumption of jury trials to begin no earlier than October 23. The Office of Jury Commissioner is canceling jurors summoned for the weeks of October 26 and November 2. Trials scheduled prior to November 9 will be rescheduled. Read more here.
Forty-nine percent of Massachusetts residents who've been tested once for coronavirus have been re-tested, as the rate of repeat testing has accelerated to help manage potential outbreaks among the elderly and college students. Nearly five million molecular tests have been carried out since the start of the pandemic as of Sunday, but half as many Massachusetts residents make up the total number of individuals tested, according to the Department of Public Health. The majority of tests are taking place in nursing homes and on college campuses, where people are more likely to congregate and spread the virus, health officials say. Roughly one-third of Massachusetts residents have been tested for COVID-19 at least once. Read more here.
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates:
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today.
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.
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:
- Pisani Center located at 131 Washington Street, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., on Saturday, October 24.
- St. John the Evangelist Church, located at 2270 Massachusetts Avenue, 10:00am - 6:00pm on Wednesday, October 21.
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:
Cambridge Community Foundation
Cradles to Crayons Emergency Essentials 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
Union of Minority Neighborhoods
As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.