As of today, there are 78 cases of COVID-19 in Cambridge. You can learn more here: https://bit.ly/2J2BnQj. Yesterday, the first city resident passed away from COVID-19, a male in his 80s. I send my heartfelt condolences to his family at this difficult time.
There are 5,752 cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, including 1141 in Middlesex County. 42,793 patients have been tested in the state, and 56 patients have passed away. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/2UwL4Nw.
Please join me for a town hall on Wednesday April 1st at 4PM to discuss a variety of topics as they relate to COVID-19. I will be joined by stakeholders from fields including healthcare, behavioral health, housing, employment law, and public safety. You can participate in the town hall using this link: https://zoom.us/j/490687224, by tuning into CCTV, or by heading to CCTV’s Facebook Live. I hope that you will join and ask questions on the issues and topics that matter to you at this time.
Today, City Manager DePasquale issued a statement announcing that city leaders have recommended the War Memorial Recreation Center as the City’s emergency shelter location. The War Memorial Complex has space for individuals that need to be isolated due to positive COVID-19 tests as well as those who need to be quarantined for possible exposure.
I was very happy to work with the city in helping them to quickly develop a plan for the shelter. A special thank you to Suffolk Construction who didn’t flinch when we asked them to work with us.
You can learn more about the recommendation here: https://bit.ly/39B5XLO.
City Manager DePasquale has appointed a COVID-19 Expert Advisory Panel composed of medical and subject matter experts to support the city’s COVID-19 planning and response. Learn more: https://bit.ly/2QUuzZ5.
The Cambridge Police Department’s Domestic Violence Unit has published a resource guide and safety planning guide with domestic violence and sexual assault resources available to those who may be isolating with an abusive partner or household member, in fear, and/or unable to unable to access critical safety and support services. You can find the resource guide here: https://bit.ly/33TdgNz and the safety planning guide here: https://bit.ly/2QVbiH2.
State Action Updates
The state has set up an online portal that individuals and companies can use to donate and sell personal protective equipment. They are looking for N95 or N99 masks, facemasks with built in shields, surgical masks, PAPRs, goggles, gloves, protective suits and gowns, booties and shoe covers, headcovers, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes. You can learn more and sign up to donate here: https://bit.ly/2WUhrqH.
Governor Baker issued an order that allows public companies to hold annual or special shareholder meetings through remote communication until 60 days after the end of the state of emergency. You can learn more here: https://bit.ly/2wGL5W2.
Public Health Updates
DPH has issued an order that will provide on-demand licensing for professionals with licenses in good standing in other states and providers who have let their licenses expire within the last 10 years while in good standing. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/2xCLBnO.
The Executive Office of Health and Human Services is providing financial relief to care providers, including: providers that are experiencing extraordinary demand, providers that are necessary to keep vulnerable patients safe in their homes and residences, and human services providers that have had to alter the way they deliver services and the hours and scope of services. Learn more here:https://bit.ly/33V7ACy.
The state is working with long-term care facilities to establish dedicated skilled nursing facilities to care for those infected with COVID-19, which will relieve pressure on hospitals. MassHealth regulations around the transfers and discharges of long-term care facility residents are waived for the purpose of safely transferring and discharging those living in facilities that will be used as designated COVID-19 facilities. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/2WWXkIC.
More than 1800 medical professionals have signed up to volunteer to support hospitals. DPH will expedite the onboarding of these volunteers by authorizing the Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management to perform CORI checks without a notarized CORI acknowledgement form. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/2QYlkHA.
Unemployment Insurance Updates
Expanded benefits under the CARES Act- including benefits to independent contractors, benefits for those who have exhausted their weeks of benefits, and benefits to those who do not have sufficient earnings over the last year to qualify, are not yet available in Massachusetts, as the Department of Unemployment Assistance has not received federal guidelines on implementation. Those applying for these expanded benefits should wait to apply until this guidance is issued. Updates on when these benefits will be available will be posted at: https://bit.ly/2w3KQ72.
Where to donate:
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 impacted by COVID-19:
Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund: https://bit.ly/3bgTBJU
Cambridge Community Foundation: https://bit.ly/33ImGeE
Food for Free: https://bit.ly/3afFuEE
Greater Boston Food Bank: https://www.gbfb.org/
Cradles to Crayons Emergency Essentials Fund: https://bit.ly/2WHOD4V
Enroot Emergency Immigrant Cash Assistance Fund: https://bit.ly/2y7bBIe
Cambridge Health Alliance: https://bit.ly/2vWegUB
If you are interested in seeing previous COVID-19 updates, you can find them here:https://www.decker4rep.com/news/ As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.