I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, 1430 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 134,277 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 409 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 2,360,825 patients have been tested, and 9,350 have passed away. Learn more here.
State Action Updates
A new state public awareness campaign aims to encourage people to check in with their friends and loved ones and remember that there may be "more to the story" when it comes to someone's mental health.The #MoreToTheStory campaign seeks to help people look beyond answers like "I'm fine" to recognize signs that someone may be struggling with their mental health and offer support. It underscores the importance of talking about mental health and offers information about what kinds of resources are available. The effort is paid for through a Behavioral Health Outreach, Access and Support Trust Fund created in last year's budget as part of a midyear spending bill. I continue to be appreciative of Speaker DeLeo who has worked closely with me in supporting the Committee's work to center the importance of providing resources and education on our collective behavioral and mental health.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health MA-DPH would like you to take the COVID-19 community impact survey. DPH is trying to better help people through the COVID-19 crisis by hearing about their experiences and challenges right now. By taking the COVID-19 Community Impact Survey, you will help MA-DPH act and address the most critical needs, partner with communities to support local efforts, and inform state policy with accurate information on what people need now and in the long term. Results will be available to community-based organizations for their own planning and action purposes.
This survey is open to Massachusetts residents age 14 and older and takes 10-15 minutes to complete. Currently, the survey is available in six of the most common languages spoken in the state: English, Chinese (standard and traditional), Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, and Vietnamese.
Take the COVID-19 Community Impact Survey
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates:
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today.
Since Friday, October 2, three residents of a Cambridge long-term care facility have tested positive for COVID-19. All staff and residents have since been tested, and the Cambridge Public Health Department (CPHD) will announce any positive results once they are posted in MAVEN, the state’s reportable disease database.
All three cases were recently discharged from area hospitals. In accordance with guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the three individuals were placed in isolation units with full droplet precautions upon their arrival to the long-term care facility.All patients discharged from hospitals to long-term care facilities undergo a 14-day quarantine, per state health department guidance, and it is possible for patients to develop COVID-19 during this time if they were exposed during their time away from the facility. This standard procedure is effective at preventing transmission within skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. Cambridge Public Health Department staff have been in daily communication with state health officials and facility staff. The facility is adhering to all safety protocols. The Cambridge Public Health Department continues to monitor the situation closely. Prior to October, the last confirmed COVID-19 case among a Cambridge long-term care resident was reported on June 6.
Cambridge is installing six official ballot drop boxes. To provide Cambridge voters with additional options for returning their voted and sealed ballots, the City of Cambridge Election Commission has secured six (6) exterior official ballot drop box locations for the upcoming election to ensure the 2020 State/Presidential Election.
Crews from the City’s Department of Public Works are completing the installation this week. The ballot drop boxes are accessible, secure, and safe for voters and election workers. The drop boxes will be available for use by Cambridge voters beginning on Friday, October 9, 2020 through Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. You can find the locations here.
Where to Get Tested
Testing appointments through the City's free mobile-testing program are now available at the following locations:
- King Open School located at 850 Cambridge Street, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Tuesday, October 6 and Thursday, October 8.
- Pisani Center located at 131 Washington Street, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., on Saturday, October 3 and 10.
You can schedule an appointment online or by calling 617-665-3795.
The state's Stop the Spread initiative provides no-cost testing in communities across the state that have continued to see a higher number of residents testing positive for COVID-19. Stop the Spread testing sites are open to ALL Massachusetts residents and are not restricted to residents of the cities where sites are located. You do not need to have any symptoms to be tested. Find more information about locations and hours here. Current Stop the Spread communities are: Brockton, Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Framingham, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lynn, Marlborough, Methuen, New Bedford, Randolph, Revere, Salem, Saugus, Springfield, Winthrop, and Worcester.
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.
Where to Give
Food for Free, an organization that has been essential in helping to meet the needs of growing hunger insecurity in our community, is holding a Benefit Bake today, 9/22 with Flatbread Co. Somerville at 45 Day Street. When you order flatbreads, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Food for Free. Pickup, delivery, and outdoor dining will be available.
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.