I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, 2,186 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 218,329 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 1,166 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 29,195 patients have been tested today, and 10,748 have passed away. Learn more here.
State Action Updates
81 Massachusetts cities and towns now considered ‘high risk’ for COVID spread, according to new data
Eighty-one Massachusetts cities and towns are now classified as “high risk” for coronavirus spread based on new metrics health officials are using to determine risk levels in communities. Last week, the number of cities and towns designated high risk was 63 after the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced changes to the way they classify communities on the statewide map. Officials say the new categories help to make the community-specific data more nuanced, and better account for increases in cases in smaller communities and for communities where testing is more robust. Read more here.
Massachusetts reports 2,501 new COVID cases, 46 deaths on Sunday
Massachusetts public health officials reported 2,501 new COVID-19 cases and another 46 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday. Throughout the pandemic, at least 217,163 Massachusetts residents have contracted the virus and 10,487 have died, according to the Department of Public Health. The estimated number of active coronavirus infections in the state has increased to 43,709. Sunday’s new data follows 48,685 new molecular tests. There are currently 1,081 people being treated in hospitals with suspected COVID-19 illness, including 238 patients in intensive care. Hospitalizations have increased the past two months and had been hovering just below 1,000 for the past week. Read more here.
COVID-19 impact from Thanksgiving travel and gatherings could be ‘precursor’ for upcoming holidays
Fallout from Thanksgiving travel and festivities could intensify challenges Massachusetts will face as it continues to battle the pandemic through the December holidays, when officials will be navigating more uncertain terrain amid soaring numbers of cases. While more indications emerge that people are chafing under pandemic restrictions, those measures are vital to curb the spread and ease pressure on the state’s health care system, officials said. In the wake of Thanksgiving, public health officials will be closely monitoring state metrics to see what effect holiday travel and gatherings will have on the state’s COVID-19 levels. They will be looking at new cases, positivity test results, hospitalizations, and the presence of coronavirus in wastewater, which is seen as an early warning system. 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
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.
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."
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.
Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee
Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee (CEOC) is Cambridge's anti-poverty agency. The CEOC's mission is to empower people and mobilize resources to fight poverty's causes and impacts through education and organizing. For this GivingTuesday (12/1) CEOC has set a goal to raise $5,000 to help launch Give-Direct, a cutting-edge cash transfer program - and they can't achieve it without you! Please consider joining the charge to reach their transformative goal on December 1. And, since GivingTuesday relies on the limitless potential of social media, don't forget to share, tag, and use the hashtag #GivingTuesday and #CEOCGiveDirect. Busy that day? You also can make a gift now to be processed on GivingTuesday.
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.