I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, 1505 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 143,927 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 986 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 2,580,213 patients have been tested, and 9,589 have passed away. Learn more here.
State Action Updates
Massachusetts reports 646 new COVID cases on Wednesday as week-over-week numbers rise
State health officials confirmed another 646 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing the statewide tally to 142,941. That’s based on 12,722 new molecular tests, according to the Department of Public Health. Officials also announced another 22 COVID-related deaths, for a total of 9,559 fatalities since the start of the pandemic. The seven-day average of positive tests is now around 1.3%, which remains elevated compared to a low of 0.8% in September. There are currently 519 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Massachusetts, including 91 patients in intensive care. Read more here.
Governors Urge Residents To Alter Thanksgiving Plans This Year Due To Coronavirus
Governor Charlie Baker is cautioning residents against keeping traditional Thanksgiving Day plans this year, as the coronavirus crisis in the state continues to show no signs of slowing ahead of November. The governor said Wednesday that indoor parties and group meals with anyone outside of household members, including family, may not be safe. Baker said state public health officials would issue more guidance on Thanksgiving in a few days. Read more here.
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates:
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Partnerships for Recovery, $774 Million Economic Recovery Plan
Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a $774 million comprehensive plan to stabilize and grow the Massachusetts economy. The plan focuses on getting people back to work, supporting small businesses, fostering innovation, revitalizing downtowns and ensuring housing stability. Partnerships for Recovery begins today by directing $115 million in new funding to small businesses and Main Streets hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and for workforce training efforts. Additionally, the Administration is aligning multiple funding sources, both existing and proposed, to appropriately respond to the crisis.
Partnerships for Recovery supports five key recovery efforts:
- Getting Massachusetts back to work
- Supporting small businesses
- Revitalizing downtowns
- Supporting housing equity and stability
- Fostering innovation
Cambridge Recategorized as Moderate Risk “Yellow” Community
Cambridge has been recategorized as a “yellow” risk community based on new data published by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) today. A Yellow designation is given to communities where the average daily case rate over the last 14 days is 4-8 cases per 100,000 population. Cambridge is currently at 4.1 cases per 100,000 residents according to the October 22 data release by the Commonwealth. Cambridge’s overall test positivity rate remains low (0.15%) compared to surrounding areas, but the city continues to closely monitor the situation to respond to any specific, high-risk settings. Read more here.
MIT, Harvard are managing to keep COVID-19 numbers low
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University have been able to thus far successfully mitigate COVID-19 transmission on campus. According to the MIT COVID-19 testing dashboard, the campus had a .02% positivity rate as of Oct. 18. In the seven days prior, the university had conducted 15,453 tests and had three new positive cases. Since Aug. 16, MIT has had 61 positive cases out of 130,600 tests. Harvard, which invited just 40% of its undergraduates to campus this fall, had a .08% positivity rate, with 13 new positive cases out of 16,280 tests over the seven days leading up to Oct. 18, according to the university’s dashboard. Read more here.
Michigan is in Play – Have a few hours to spare?
Lynn Margherio, raised in Michigan but now calls Cambridge home is asking for folks to join her-see her message here:
We’re looking for more volunteers to make calls to Michiganders. Michigan is a key battleground state for the White House AND to retake the Senate. We can win both but need all hands-on deck between now and Election Day. We lost Michigan in 2016 by fewer than 2 votes per precinct!
In-person early voting will run from Saturday, October 17th to Friday, October 30th, at 3 locations in Cambridge:
- Longfellow Community School – 359 Broadway, rear entrance
- Cambridge Water Department – 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
- Valente Library – 826 Cambridge Street, side entrance on Berkshire Street
- Weekdays, Monday to Friday – 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Saturday, Oct. 17th, Sunday, Oct. 18th, and Sunday, Oct. 25th – 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- Saturday, Oct. 24th – 1:00 to 7:00 p.m.
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 Danehy Park/Fresh Pond Plaza 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:
- Pisani Center located at 131 Washington Street, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., on Saturday, October 24.
- St. John the Evangelist Church, located at 2270 Massachusetts Avenue, 10:00am – 6:00pm on Wednesday, October 21.
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:
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.