Saturday Evening Update, 3/21

As of today, March 21st, there are 15 cases of COVID-19 in Cambridge. Learn more here: https://www.cambridgema.gov/covid19/casecount. There are 525 cases in the state, including 177 in Middlesex County. 3031 people have been tested by the MA State Public Health Laboratory. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/2WxWkL1
Today, the first justice-involved individual tested positive for COVID-19 at the Massachusetts Treatment Center at Bridgewater.
Cambridge Updates
The Cambridge Community Foundation is operating the Cambridge COVID-19 Emergency Fund and will give grants ranging from $200-$1,000 to Cambridge residents, nonprofits, and small businesses experiencing financial crisis due to COVID-19. This fund supplements the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund for COVID-19 with the goal of swiftly responding to emergency needs. If you are interested in learning more about the fund, applying for a grant, or donating, head to this website: http://cambridgecf.org/COVID-19-emergency-fund
Updates on State Action
Over the last two days, the state’s ability to test has doubled and testing capacity has increased by over 65%.
The Governor’s administration is working with the Army Corps of Engineers to determine alternative spaces for treatment of COVID-19.
The National Guard will work with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency to produce and distribute supplies to assist with the response to COVID-19.
Unemployment Insurance Update
The Executive Office of Labor and workforce Development and the Department of Unemployment Assistance will be holding virtual town halls to go through the step-by-step process of achieving a successful unemployment claim and take questions. The first will be held TOMORROW at 3:30PM. There will be a Spanish language town hall held on Tuesday 3/24 at 9AM. To see more town hall dates and sign up, go to this website: https://bit.ly/2xZUgkz
Child Care Update
300 emergency child care centers will be open for those who must report to work, including first responders and grocery store workers. There are more child care sites to come. You can find a list of Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs
here: https://eeclead.force.com/apex/EEC_ChildCareEmergencyProcedure
MassDOT Update
Starting today, the MBTA is asking passengers to board buses and trolleys through the rear doors in order to keep distance between drivers and passengers in accordance with social distancing guidelines. Seniors and those with disabilities can still board at the front if they need to do so. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/2TWMpMY
Also, while there is not an official “shelter in place,” people should behave as though there is one. If you are on a walk at Fresh Pond or walking down the sidewalk in your neighborhood, make sure that you leave space between yourself and others, Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University both recommend 6 feet. Learn more about their guidance here: https://bit.ly/3dgGcn3https://stanford.io/2xcoUH0. I understand that there can be mixed messages, but people should only be heading out when it is essential, not when they are craving or wanting something.
If you are interested in seeing previous COVID-19 updates, you can find them here: https://www.decker4rep.com/news/ As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.
Sincerely,
Marjorie

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