I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, 1,676 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 167,929 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 1,184 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 47,461 patients have been tested today, and 10,163 have passed away. Learn more here.
State Action Updates
Coronavirus Surge Continues With More Than 4,000 Over Weekend in Mass.
The week began Monday with Massachusetts tracking 22,023 active cases of COVID-19 after public health officials reported 4,009 new cases of the coronavirus over the weekend and 43 new confirmed deaths from the disease. The state Department of Public Health reported on Sunday that 568 people were in the hospital for confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 144 patients who were in intensive care units. That was an increase of 55 patients hospitalized with the virus since Friday and 26 patients newly being treated in ICUs around the state. The state reported a combined 172,858 new molecular tests on Saturday and Sunday, which put the state's seven-day average positivity rate at 2.27 percent. When removing repeat higher education testing from the equation, the positivity rate over the past week was 3.92 percent. Read more here.
MBTA Proposes Cuts To Ferries, Buses And Trains Amid Budget Crisis
The MBTA is looking to eliminate all ferry service and some bus routes, in addition to running trains less frequently on the commuter rail and subway system, starting next year. The proposed service cuts will be unveiled at the T's Fiscal Management & Control Board meeting Monday and are part of an effort to help close the transit agency's massive budget gap. The T's proposed service cuts also take into account ridership levels across the system. Parts of the transit system are running at or near pre-COVID levels of service, but the ridership just isn't there to justify that, transit officials said. Ridership plummeted early in pandemic and has slowly ticked back up as businesses reopened, but is now "stalling out," according to MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. Read more here.
More COVID-19 Cases In Massachusetts Correctional Facilities
Like the rest of Massachusetts, there are increased cases of the coronavirus in state correctional facilities, including 140 prisoners who have now tested positive at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Norfolk. Widespread testing began at Norfolk last week after two prisoners tested positive. Test results on 300 men there are still pending. At MCI Shirley's Minimum Security Unit, there are 19 positive cases. There is one positive case at MCI Cedar Junction in Walpole. The affected prisoners have been moved to a quarantine unit and no one has required hospital care, according to the Massachusetts Department of Correction. Visitation has been suspended at Norfolk and Shirley. I am very concerned about this and will update you with more information soon.
Baker Press Conference Updates:
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today.
SCHEDULE A FLU SHOT AT DRIVE THROUGH CLINIC NOVEMBER 14 AT CAMBRIDGESIDE
Please Note: This clinic was originally scheduled to be held at Danehy Park but will now be at CambrdgeSide. This is a drive-through clinic that can be accessed by motor vehicle only through the garage. The site cannot accommodate anyone arriving by bicycle or on foot. Upcoming Drive-Through Flu Clinic
Saturday, November 14, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. (Appointment Required).
CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, Level 2 1/2 (enter at First and Spring St.)
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 CambridgeSide in East Cambridge 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:
- 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 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.