I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, there are 1288 Cambridge residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 99 residents have passed away. Learn more here. There are 118,784 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. 1,732,768 patients have been tested, and 8,827 have passed away. Learn more here.
Today, on International Overdose Awareness Day, it is important that we bring awareness to the public health crisis of opioid overdoses, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought increased challenges to so many who are dealing with substance use disorder. We must collectively use our voices and take action to remove the stigma surrounding substance use disorder. As House Chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use, and Recovery, I am committed to continuing to work on policies that improve access to addiction care and support those in recovery.
Mobile wifi hotspots are now available for check-out through contactless holds pickup at the Cambridge Public Library. Hotspots can be borrowed for up to two weeks with a one-time renewal if there are no existing holds for the device. You can request a mobile hotspot by calling 617-349-4040.
There will be a U.S. Census Questionnaire Assistance event this Thursday 9/3 from 6-8PM at Starlight Square, 84 Bishop Allen Drive. The Census Bureau will have Arabic, Haitian Creole, and Spanish speakers on site for those who have questions or need help completing their 2020 Census and iPads available to complete the census. Those assisting will be wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
The City has posted information on the work of the public health nurses from the Cambridge Public Health Department to stop the chain of transmission of COVID-19.
There will be a protest outside of the River Street Whole Foods store on Wednesday from 5:30 – 6:30 PM. This protest will show support for Whole Foods workers ahead of a hearing on September 3rd for the class action lawsuit filed by 27 employees from nine different states, including employees of the River Street Whole Foods, over the company’s refusal to allow employees to wear Black Lives Matter face masks.
Tomorrow, Tuesday September 1st, is the State Primary election.
The City has posted information for those who are planning to vote in person tomorrow on election day. This includes information on finding your polling place, an interactive polling place map, and a polling place PDF. Voters should wear a face covering and adhere to social distancing requirements, and hand sanitizer will be available for use by voters.
You can also return your signed mail-in ballot at the Cambridge Election Commission’s ballot drop box at 51 Inman Street between 8AM – 8PM. All ballots must arrive at the Cambridge Election Commission office by tomorrow, Tuesday, September 1st at 8PM.
You can find more information on voting in the 2020 elections on the City’s website.
Where to Get Tested
The City’s COVID-19 free mobile testing will resume on September 9th. Locations of testing appointments will be released as soon as they are available.
If you are feeling symptomatic and feel the need to get tested sooner, you can call your primary care provider to make an appointment to be tested.
Translation Resources Available
Multilingual city resources and information on COVID-19 are available on the City’s multilingual help page.
State Action Updates
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has published a website that is specifically designed for parents seeking information about the upcoming school year which includes information on school reopening guidance for families, FAQs about returning to school, and more.
Today, Attorney General Maura Healey filed a defense of Governor Charlie Baker and the legality of his actions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The Supreme Judicial Court is expected to hear over a lawsuit challenging Gov. Charlie Baker’s COVID-19 executive orders on September 11th.
On Friday, Governor Baker activated up to 1,000 members of the National Guard, but did not give a detailed reason for doing so. His administration said that the order was given “in the event that municipal leaders require their assistance.” The order will remain in effect until further notice.
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates:
Governor Baker did not hold a COVID-19 press conference today.
Federal Action Updates
Today, the USDA announced that it will extend several flexibilities that were set to expire through December 31st, including allowing summer meal program operators to continue serving free meals to all children into the fall months.
Where to Give
On Fridays, Cambridge CoHousing will be collecting food for the Chelsea Food Collaborative. Drop off is between 9 AM to 3:30PM 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:
I also encourage you to donate to the following organizations that are engaging in racial justice work:
As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.