I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, 1741 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 174,953 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 2,482 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 98,075 patients have been tested today, and 10,242 have passed away. Learn more here.
Harvard University COVID-19 information, click here.
MIT COVID-19 information, click here.
State Action Updates
30 Massachusetts cities and towns now considered ‘high risk’ for COVID transmission, according to new map
Thirty Massachusetts cities and towns are now classified as “high risk” for coronavirus spread based on new metrics health officials are using to determine risk levels in communities. Last week, the number of cities and towns designated high risk was 16 after the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced changes to the way they classify communities on the statewide map. The Department of Public Health said it was changing the way it classifies communities at risk for COVID transmission on the statewide map. Risk designations — which are colored, grey, green, yellow and red based on infection levels — are now determined using several new metrics for three population categories: communities with a population of less than 10,000; between 10,000 and 50,000; and greater than 50,000. Read more here.
191 student, 157 staff COVID cases reported in Massachusetts schools in last week
Massachusetts schools have reported 348 coronavirus cases among staff and students from Nov. 5 to Nov. 11, excluding students who are learning remotely only, according to state education officials. Those cases are among 191 students and 157 staff members, according to data released Thursday by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Districts reported 176 student cases and 131 staff cases. Education collaboratives reported six student cases and four staff cases. Approved special education schools reported nine student cases and 22 staff cases, according to DESE. Read more here.
Joint Statement from the Offices of Governors on the Suspension of Interstate Youth Hockey
In response to recent coronavirus outbreaks associated with the conduct of interstate youth hockey activities, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Maine Governor Janet Mills, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, Vermont Governor Phil Scott, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont will support a regional approach to interstate competitions. As case numbers increase in many states across the country, it is critical that neighboring states coordinate a regional approach to limit further community spread of the virus. The seven states will suspend interstate competitions for public and private schools and youth hockey effective this Saturday, November 14, 2020 through at minimum December 31, 2020. The prohibition will not impact interstate collegiate, professional, or U.S. national team hockey activities, which will remain subject to existing health and safety protocols and/or restrictions. Read more here.
Baker Press Conference Updates:
Gov. Charlie Baker reiterates that children should be in classrooms as he tours Carlisle school
In another push to bring more Massachusetts students back to school in person, Governor Charlie Baker on Thursday visited a Carlisle school and praised the youngsters for all wearing masks. Baker, speaking to reporters following a tour of the K-8 Carlisle public school, also praised staff for working to ensure there was enough distance between students, particularly at lunch, which the children eat in four separate shifts, some in the cafeteria and some in their classrooms. As he has for some time, Baker reiterated that in-person learning is vitally important for students especially in the younger grades, and that studies have shown schools aren’t hot spots for COVID-19 transmissions. Rather, Baker said, the biggest trouble spots appear to be “familiar people being familiar” with one another “in familiar settings,” such as dinner parties and other informal gatherings. Watch the announcement here.
New Partnership Tracks COVID-19 Infections in Cambridge by Analyzing Wastewater
The Cambridge Public Health Department (CPHD) has been working to slow its spread through testing, contact tracing, and educating the public about prevention measures. These tried and true public health strategies are routinely used to limit transmission of infectious diseases. Now a partnership with Biobot Analytics, Inc. in Cambridge offers a new approach to tracking COVID-19 outbreaks: analyzing wastewater. This week, for the first time, Cambridge will have access to local wastewater data that will serve as an early warning signal of increased COVID-19 infections in the city. This new monitoring tool will augment more traditional public health approaches for tracking and responding to disease outbreaks. The Cambridge Public Health Department is planning to make the data publicly available on the City’s COVID-19 data dashboard in the coming weeks. Read more here.
SCHEDULE A FLU SHOT AT DRIVE THROUGH CLINIC NOVEMBER 14 AT CAMBRIDGESIDE
Please Note: This clinic was originally scheduled to be held at Danehy Park but will now be at CambrdgeSide. This is a drive-through clinic that can be accessed by motor vehicle only through the garage. The site cannot accommodate anyone arriving by bicycle or on foot. Upcoming Drive-Through Flu Clinic
Saturday, November 14, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Appointment Required).
CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, Level 2 1/2 (enter at First and Spring St.)
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. People who live and work in Cambridge can get a flu shot at no charge at one of the flu clinics run by the Cambridge Public Health. 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:
- CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, 11:00am – 7:00pm (Drive-through testing in garage. Enter on First St.) Sundays and Thursdays
- 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm (beginning November 9th) Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays
- 2254 Massachusetts Ave, St. John the Evangelist Church, 10:00am – 6:00pm Wednesdays
- Pisani Center located at 131 Washington Street. 11:00am – 7:00pm Saturdays
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 2:30 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.