Thursday 12/17 COVID-19 Updates

Dear all,

I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.

As of today, 2,753 Cambridge residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 103 residents have passed away, according to the state’s database. Learn more here. There have been 297,301 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 4,985 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 92,627 tests have been performed today, and 11,558 have passed away. Learn more here.

 

State Action Updates

Massachusetts reports 5,450 new COVID cases, 71 deaths on Wednesday as hospitalizations climb to 1,851

State health officials confirmed another 5,450 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing the number of active statewide cases to 74,212. Those new cases are based on 124,172 molecular tests, according to the Department of Public Health. Health officials also confirmed another 71 COVID-related fatalities on Wednesday, bringing the statewide death count to 11,261 since the pandemic began. Hospitalizations increased to 1,851, which includes 382 patients currently in intensive care. A total of 205 people are intubated. At least 689 people have died of COVID-related illness across the state since Thanksgiving, Gov. Charlie Baker said on Tuesday. Read more here.

Free walk-up COVID testing in Worcester on Thursday canceled due to winter storm

Thursday’s free walk-up COVID testing in Worcester was canceled due to Winter Storm Gail, leaving just two clinics remaining prior to Christmas. UMass Memorial Health Care has two walk-up testing clinics scheduled for Monday and Tuesday of next week. Like Thursday’s canceled clinic, the two next week will take place at the Mercantile Center at the intersection of Commercial and Mechanic Street. On Monday and Tuesday, free testing will be conducted from 10:30 a.m. through 3 p.m. Free masks will be provided with each test. Read more here.

Mass. Unemployment Numbers Fall Slightly, With National Claims Still On The Rise

Almost 31,000 Massachusetts residents applied for first-time unemployment benefits last week, down by almost 4,000 from the week prior, according to the latest federal data. The data includes both traditional filings as well as those made by self-employed workers and so-called gig workers, under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. That comes among national unemployment numbers rising during the same period. The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week was 885,000, the highest weekly total since September, as a resurgence of coronavirus cases threatens the economy’s recovery from its springtime collapse. Read more here.

 

Baker Press Conference Updates:

Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today.

 

Cambridge Updates

Tips for Celebrating a Happy and Safe Holiday Season, click here.

Harvard University COVID-19 information, click here.

MIT COVID-19 information, click here.

 

Popportunity Market

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 10×10 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:

  • Monday – 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Tuesday – 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Wednesday – 2254 Massachusetts Ave, St. John the Evangelist Church, 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Thursday – CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, 11:00am – 7:00pm (Drive-through testing in garage. Enter on First St.)
  • Friday – 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Saturday – Pisani Center located at 131 Washington Street. 11:00am – 7:00pm
  • Sunday – CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, 11:00am – 7:00pm (Drive-through testing in garage. Enter on First St.)

 

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

One in Eight of Our Cambridge Neighbors is Experiencing Hunger

Cambridge friends, one in eight of our neighbors are experiencing hunger and food insecurity, and while our food pantries are fighting to keep food on the table, they can’t do it alone. This holiday season, give the gift of food security to your neighbors by supporting food access organizations and the newly launched Cambridge Challenge Against Hunger with a generous donation. With a gift of just $100, you can feed four families on Food For Free’s Home Delivery program, and help bring a new meaning to the ‘season of giving.’ If you would like to donate, click here. For a full list of Cambridge organizations to donate to, click here.

 

Cambridge Community Center

In partnership with the Central Square BID, the Cambridge Community Center (CCC) has launched a safe, socially-distanced Food & Supply Pantry. The pantry is open Tuesdays – Fridays 1:00pm – 3:00pm at 5 Callender street, Cambridge MA (Gymnasium Entrance). The CCC have received generous food donations from our friends at Food For Free and Lovin’ Spoonfuls, and have been able to offer community members healthy options, including fresh fruits and vegetables as well as other quality grocery items. In addition to food donations, here are some other supplies that are in need for the pantry.

  • Diapers
  • Formula
  • Feminine hygiene products (preferably pads)
  • General hygiene products (shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.)
  • Toilet paper
  • Household cleaning supplies

 

Even if you’re not able to donate to our COVID-19 Relief Fund, you can still support the pantry by spreading the word!

 

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.”

For the four upcoming Fridays (11/27, 12/4, 12/11, 12/18) Cambridge Cohousing invites you to donate a children’s book with your food donation — a new or in very new-like condition for children ages infant to 10 years old. Our partner in Chelsea is very grateful. They say that not only will the children benefit but also adults who are learning English or learning to read to and with their children. They will distribute during the holiday seasons coming up. Thanks for your continued support.

 

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:

 

Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund

 

Cambridge Health Alliance

 

Cambridge Community Foundation

 

Food for Free

 

Greater Boston Food Bank

 

Cradles to Crayons Emergency Essentials Fund

 

Mount Auburn Hospital

 

The One Chelsea 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

 

Prisoners’ Legal Services

 

Boston NAACP

 

Massachusetts Bail Fund

 

ACLU of Massachusetts

 

Union of Minority Neighborhoods

 

As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.

 

Sincerely,

Marjorie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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