I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, 1350 Cambridge residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 99 residents have passed away, according to the state’s database. Learn more here. There have been 124,139 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 419 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 2,024,306 patients have been tested, and 9,051 have passed away. Learn more here.
I am excited to participate in a Museum of Science & GBH panel at 5PM on Monday 9/21. Mathieu Bermingham, MD of the Metro West Center for Well Being and Children’s Services of Roxbury, Dr. Philip Wang of the Cambridge Health Alliance, and I will discuss Children’s Mental Health: How Science Informs Policy. Please join by registering here and learn more on the event’s Facebook page.
State Action Updates
The Supreme Judicial Court ordered that jury trials will resume on a limited basis starting on October 23rd. Juries will be limited to six people, and each court will hold no more than one trial at a time.
About a half a million COVID tests have been conducted at higher education institutions in the state since August 15th, and 499 positive cases resulted from those tests. This indicates a positive test rate of roughly .1% at the higher education institutions, which is lower than the statewide average positive test rate of .8%.
MassSupport is offering free and anonymous mental health and substance use support in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. This support is available to anyone living in Massachusetts. Trained counselors can help identify issues, provide coping skills, and connect you to local resources. Call (888) 215-4920, visit their website, or emailMassSupport@riversidecc.org.
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates:
Today, Governor Baker held a press conference at the Roslindale CVS where he got his flu shot. He discussed the importance of MA residents getting the flu vaccine to ease the burden on a health care sector as it prepares for a potential second COVID-19 surge. He also discussed the state’s new flu vaccine requirement for children 6 months of age or older attending child care, pre-school, kindergarten, K-12, and higher ed. institutions.
He also stated that people can expect information late next week on how long-term care facilities can accommodate visits or interactions between residents and loved ones even as the weather turns cold and outdoor visits must end.
There will be a virtual public meeting on the Tobin Montessori and Vassal Lane Schools Project Wednesday 9/23 from 5:30-8PM with a video presentation from 5:30-6PM and a Q&A session from 6-8PM. Questions can be submitted in advance or during the live Q&A.
The Department of Human Service Programs announced that it will not operate any of its usual programs for school-age children in school or city buildings this fall (i.e. afterschool programs, Community School programs, King Open Extended Day and Youth Centers). Starting 9/21, it will offer daily outdoor activities across the City. It is also developing plans for virtual enrichment, family and individual support, and possible in-person support for virtual learning.
Registration is open for the Girlx Only Leadership Development program. This is a free program for 7th and 8th grade girlx and non-binary students who identify with girlhood and attend school or live in Cambridge to become strong leaders with skill-building and mentorship. The program will take place on Tuesdays from 5-7PM on Zoom.
This summer, My Brother’s Keeper Cambridge Task Force partnered with the City of Cambridge, to launch a Summer Empowerment Program which supported 50 young people in an interactive summer experience. It was funded by the City, Cambridge Savings Bank, and DivcoWest.
Where to Get Tested
Currently, all appointments for the City of Cambridge’s free mobile testing at the Field House at Russell Field on 9/16 and the Pisani Center on 9/19. Once new appointments are available, they will be posted on the City’s website and announced in the City’s daily email update.
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
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:
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.