I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, 1375 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 126,863 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 455 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 2,144,396 patients have been tested, and 9,150 have passed away. Learn more here.
State Action Updates
The Massachusetts Department of Correction will resume in-person visitation department-widestarting September 28th. Those who wish to visit should schedule their visit 24 hours in advance via phone to learn about protocols. Personal visits will be limited to one visit per inmate per week with up to two visitors at a time.
Starting tomorrow, 9/25, nursing and rest homes may resume indoor visits as long as infection control and safety measures are in place. Assisted living residents will also be allowed to expand their indoor visitation options.
Governor Baker activated up to 1,000 members of the National Guard today. A spokesperson for the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security stated that Governor Baker signed the order “in the event that municipal leaders require assistance to protect opportunities to exercise first amendment rights and to maintain public safety during large scale events.” It will remain in effect until further notice.
Elections officials are reporting a shortage of poll workers for the November 3rd election. This WBUR piece provides information on how people can sign up to be poll workers. Currently, the Cambridge Elections Commission has filled all of its positions for the November 3rd election.
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates:
Governor Baker held a press conference today where he was joined by Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley. They again urged communities that are considered low-risk to offer in-person learning. Commissioner Riley stated that districts that have been in the “grey/white” or “green” categories on the state’s map should bring students back.
University COVID-19 Cases data has been added to the City’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard. You can find information on student/staff cases at Harvard University, Hult International Business School, Lesley University, M.I.T, and the Longy School of Music of Bard College.
City Manager DePasquale is seeking residents who are interested in serving on the Cambridge Public Art Commission. Art Commission members are volunteers who work with Cambridge Arts Council staff to accomplish the goals of the Cambridge Public Art Program. You can apply on the City’s website, or get a paper application at the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave, and the deadline is 10/23.
Where to Get Tested
Testing appointments through the City’s free mobile-testing program are now available at the following locations:
- Russell Youth and Community Center (formerly the West Cambridge Youth Center), 680 Huron Avenue, 10AM – 6PM on Wednesday 9/30.
- Pisani Center located at 131 Washington Street, 11AM – 7PM, on Saturday, 9/26
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.
Federal Action Updates
The IRS will be sending letters to 9 million Americans who don’t typically file for federal tax returns but may qualify for Economic Impact Payments authorized by the CARES Act. They are urging those who receive the letter to check the non-filers tool on IRS.gov to register for a stimulus check before the deadline of October 15th. At least 187,000 stimulus checks in Massachusetts currently remain unclaimed.
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:
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.