I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, 2,047 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 201,835 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 1,785 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 52,280 patients have been tested today, and 10,531 have passed away. Learn more here.
Harvard University COVID-19 information, click here.
MIT COVID-19 information, click here.
State Action Updates
Massachusetts tops 200,000 COVID cases since pandemic began; reports 2,721 new cases, 24 more deaths on Sunday
Since the pandemic began, at least 200,050 Massachusetts residents have tested positive and 10,281 have died from confirmed cases of the virus. Massachusetts has recorded 50,000 COVID-19 cases in the past 25 days. When including probable cases, the death toll rises to 10,512. As of Sunday, there are 893 people in Massachusetts being treated for COVID-19 in the hospital, including 192 in intensive care. The average age of those hospitalized is 66 and the average age of those who have died is 81, officials said. Baker, local officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have urged residents to cancel travel plans and only gather with household members on the Thanksgiving holiday.
What 635 Epidemiologists Are Doing for Thanksgiving
According to an informal survey of 635 epidemiologists by The New York Times, the large majority are not celebrating with people outside their household. Seventy-nine percent said they were having Thanksgiving dinner with members of their household or not at all. Just 21 percent said they would be dining with people outside their household — and in most cases, they described going to great lengths to do so in a safe way. Their answers were similar for the other winter holidays, like Christmas and Hanukkah. Read more here.
We're celebrating Thanksgiving amid a pandemic. Here's how we did it in 1918 – and what happened next
On Thanksgiving more than a century ago, many Americans, like today, lived under various phases of quarantines and face mask orders. Millions mourned loved ones. And health officials in many cities issued the same holiday warning: Stay home and stay safe. It isn't the message of Thanksgiving 2020. It's the Thanksgiving Day notice that ran in the Omaha World Herald on Nov. 28, 1918, when Americans found themselves in a similar predicament to the millions now grappling with how to celebrate the holiday season amid the coronavirus pandemic. By late November 1918, the USA – in the midst of the suffrage movement, Jim Crow and the tail end of WWI – battled the ebbing second wave of the H1N1 influenza epidemic, also known as the Spanish flu. By January, the USA was fully engulfed in its third wave of influenza. The virus spread throughout the winter and spring, killing thousands more. It infected one-third of the world's population and killed approximately 675,000 Americans before subsiding in the summer of 1919.
Baker Press Conference Updates:
Charlie Baker announces new COVID-19 public awareness campaign ahead of Thanksgiving
As coronavirus cases continue to surge nationwide, Gov. Charlie Baker announced a new public awareness campaign spotlighting what some residents look forward to doing after the pandemic. The #GetBackMass campaign stresses that “we’re not there yet,” emphasizing the importance of proper mask wearing, social distancing, and testing to get through what many experts believe will be the worst of the pandemic this winter. Marylou Sudders, the state’s secretary of health and human services, said the campaign is based on research showing that the vast majority of people are motivated by “concern for the health and safety of loved ones.” Watch the announcement here.
Thank you to everyone who was able to support Cortland Towns and his family who lost everything in the two-alarm fire on Columbia Street this past Tuesday. I also want to bring some attention to another family who is a little less known, who also lost a lot in the same fire who could use some support. I would like to say thank you to Robin Harris for bringing this to my attention. To support both families, please click the links below:
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.
Local Organizations in Need Around the Holidays
Cambridge Women’s Center
This Thanksgiving, the Cambridge Women's Center will be open and celebrating as best we can. We'll have hot food and gift bags at our front door, and limited seating for a socially distanced meal in our backyard. Thank you to all of our volunteers and community partners who stepped up to cook warm and nourishing dishes, donate gifts, and staff the center. We are sending deep gratitude and a big hug to everyone in our community. It's been a trying year, and we couldn't have made it this far without you. To make a Thanksgiving donation, click here.
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.
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:
- 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:
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.