Monday 12/14 COVID-19 Updates

Dear all,

I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.

As of today, 2,657 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 283,146 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 3,572 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 56,122 tests have been performed today, and 11,388 have passed away. Learn more here.

 

State Action Updates

First Coronavirus Vaccines Arrive In Mass.

Nine months after it became one of the first states to be hardest hit by COVID-19, Massachusetts received the first doses overnight of a newly authorized coronavirus vaccine that, it is widely hoped, could help bring the pandemic to an end. The frozen vials were delivered at Boston Medical Center. Other area hospitals are also expecting deliveries early this week. Hospital workers are expected to be the first to receive shots of the vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, which received an emergency use authorization from federal regulators on Friday. The state expects a total of 59,475 doses to arrive in Massachusetts sometime this week at BMC and 74 other hospitals. Another 40,000 doses will come in a second delivery to the state. These are marked for nursing home and assisted living residents and staff. Read more here.

Massachusetts announces 4,677 new COVID cases, 41 more deaths on Sunday

Massachusetts public health officials on Sunday reported another 4,677 people tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the active statewide case total to 70,651. Another 41 people have died from coronavirus-linked illnesses, the Department of Public Health reported. The seven-day average rate of positive tests is now at 5.61%, up from a low of 0.8% in September, DPH reported. Excluding the average test rates among colleges and universities — which have maintained low case counts amid widespread testing — the state’s seven-day average rate is 7.6%. The latest data comes as COVID-19 vaccines are likely to be administered starting Monday. Read more here.

MBTA Service cuts would start in January

The MBTA’s oversight board will be asked to vote Monday on a set of service cuts that would take effect this winter and spring, while other major decisions about the transit system will be delayed for several months amid an uncertain outlook. MBTA officials will present a plan for approval that would suspend 20 bus routes, eliminate weekend commuter rail service on seven out of 12 lines, close five commuter rail stations, trim the frequency of train and bus trips, reduce Hingham and Hull ferry schedules and more. Decisions about service in fiscal year 2022, which starts in July 2021, will be pushed off until the agency’s budget deliberations in February and March. Read more here.

 

Baker Press Conference Updates:

Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today.

 

Cambridge Updates

Harvard University COVID-19 information, click here.

MIT COVID-19 information, click here

 

Popportunity Market

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 10×10 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:

 

  • Monday – 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Tuesday – 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Wednesday – 2254 Massachusetts Ave, St. John the Evangelist Church, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Thursday – CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, 11:00am – 7:00pm (Drive-through testing in garage. Enter on First St.)
  • Friday – 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Saturday – Pisani Center located at 131 Washington Street. 11:00am – 7:00pm
  • Sunday – CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, 11:00am – 7:00pm (Drive-through testing in garage. Enter on First St.)

 

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

One in Eight of Our Cambridge Neighbors is Experiencing Hunger

Cambridge friends, one in eight of our neighbors are experiencing hunger and food insecurity, and while our food pantries are fighting to keep food on the table, they can’t do it alone. This holiday season, give the gift of food security to your neighbors by supporting food access organizations and the newly launched Cambridge Challenge Against Hunger with a generous donation. With a gift of just $100, you can feed four families on Food For Free’s Home Delivery program, and help bring a new meaning to the ‘season of giving.’ If you would like to donate, click here. For a full list of Cambridge organizations to donate to, click here.

 

Cambridge Community Center

In partnership with the Central Square BID, the Cambridge Community Center (CCC) has launched a safe, socially-distanced Food & Supply Pantry. The pantry is open Tuesdays – Fridays 1:00pm – 3:00pm at 5 Callender street, Cambridge MA (Gymnasium Entrance). The CCC have received generous food donations from our friends at Food For Free and Lovin’ Spoonfuls, and have been able to offer community members healthy options, including fresh fruits and vegetables as well as other quality grocery items. In addition to food donations, here are some other supplies that are in need for the pantry.

 

  • Diapers
  • Formula
  • Feminine hygiene products (preferably pads)
  • General hygiene products (shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.)
  • Toilet paper
  • Household cleaning supplies

 

Even if you’re not able to donate to our COVID-19 Relief Fund, you can still support the pantry by spreading the word!

 

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

 

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

 

Cambridge Health Alliance

 

Cambridge Community Foundation

 

Food for Free

 

Greater Boston Food Bank

 

Cradles to Crayons Emergency Essentials Fund

 

Mount Auburn Hospital

 

The One Chelsea 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

 

Prisoners’ Legal Services

 

Boston NAACP

 

Massachusetts Bail Fund

 

ACLU of Massachusetts

 

Union of Minority Neighborhoods

 

As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.

 

Sincerely,

Marjorie

 

 

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