I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, 1,964 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 192,050 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 2,532 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 92,139 patients have been tested today, and 10,435 have passed away. Learn more here.
Harvard University COVID-19 information, click here.
MIT COVID-19 information, click here.
State Action Updates
Mass. Unemployment Filings Hit Highest Level Since June
New U.S. Labor Department data show-first time unemployment filings are up again in Massachusetts and nationwide. More than 60,000 people in the state made first-time claims last week, including both traditional unemployment and the special program set up for independent contractors and gig workers during the pandemic. It's the highest number of Massachusetts filings since June, and an increase of nearly 10,000 from last week's report. The Labor Department reports 6.2% of the Massachusetts workforce was receiving unemployment insurance at the end of last month — one of the highest rates in the country. Read more here.
People exposed to COVID-19 can leave quarantine after as little as 10 days under new Massachusetts guidance
Massachusetts health officials are tweaking the state’s quarantine guidance, allowing people exposed to COVID-19 to leave quarantine as early as 10 days if they test negative beforehand. People exposed to COVID-19 who get a test eight days into their quarantine and end up negative would be allowed to leave quarantine under the guidance that takes effect Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said during a news conference at the Massachusetts State House. Those people must also not have or have had any symptoms and must continue to watch their health during the two-week period, according to the guidance. If they develop symptoms, they should get retested. The rest of the quarantine guidelines remains unchanged. Read more here.
Baker administration crafting home confinement guidelines
With COVID-19 infections rising at state prisons, the Department of Correction is preparing to expand testing at the facilities and taking initial steps to release prisoners to home confinement. The new initiatives were disclosed during a conference call between state lawmakers and members of the Baker administration. Some of the lawmakers provided details on the discussion. One of the lawmakers, Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa of Northampton, said she is grateful the Department of Correction is developing guidelines on home confinement, which is required under state law. According to several legislators, the DOC did not provide details about the guidelines, but plans to release them within 60 days. Read more here.
Baker Press Conference Updates:
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today.
COVID-19 UPDATE TO THE COMMUNITY
As COVID-19 cases rise across the Commonwealth and in our City, the City wants to update you on all of the strategies and mitigations that we have put into place to keep us all safe. In November, the City expanded its free COVID-19 testing program to seven days a week as one significant key strategy to protect residents. Since our testing program was launched in early April, the Cambridge Public Health Department (CPHD) and community partners have provided over 25,000 COVID-19 tests to the Cambridge community. From November 1-15, CPHD and members of the Cambridge Pandemic Collaborative (CPC) have administered 6,528 tests in an effort to provide greater improved access to COVID testing before the Thanksgiving holiday. Read more here.
Popportunity is a COVID-safe, outdoor, winter market held at Starlight Square in Central Square, Cambridge. Opening on Small Business Saturday, November 28th, Popportunity will run every Saturday and Sunday, 11am - 5pm, through December 20th. Artists, makers, and retailers can apply for a 10x10 market tent or a Pop-Mini stall here.
Thank you to the Central Square Business Improvement District for providing a safe space where we can support our neighbors and our local economy.
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:
Cambridge Community Foundation
Cradles to Crayons Emergency Essentials Fund
I also encourage you to donate to the following organizations that are engaging in racial justice work:
Louis D. Brown Peace Institute
Families for Justice as Healing
Union of Minority Neighborhoods
As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.