There are 39 cases of COVID-19 in Cambridge. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/2J2BnQj. There are 2,417 cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, including 538 in Middlesex County. 23,621 patients have been tested for COVID in the state. 25 patients have passed away from COVID-19 in the state. Learn more here:https://bit.ly/3an5Jc7.
The Cambridge Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant is now accepting applications. Grants of up to $6,000 will be provided to HUD eligible brick and mortar businesses. You can learn more about the program and apply for a grant here: https://bit.ly/3anZHbp.
Cradles to Crayons has been partnering with Food for Free to distribute diapers and hygiene items to those in need. It has also established an Emergency Essentials Fund which will distribute items like diapers, school supplies, and hygiene items to their partner organizations. You can learn more about the fund and donate to it here: https://bit.ly/2WHOD4V.
The city is delaying all street cleaning until May 1st. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/39krHvg
The Cambridge Health Alliance is asking those who are able to help make masks. They ask that masks are created using two layers of material and that they include a “pocket” on the inside where a filter can be inserted. They ask that you use cotton fabric, and use this pattern: https://bit.ly/33PSOgv.
State Action Updates
Governor Baker has submitted a request for a Major Disaster Declaration for Massachusetts through FEMA, which would give the state additional federal assistance. This would include funding for municipalities and disaster unemployment insurance for those who do not typically qualify for unemployment insurance, including contract workers and those who participate in the gig economy. Learn more here:https://bit.ly/3dz0SXx.
The Newton Pavilion in Boston will be reopened to house up to 250 homeless COVID-19 patients, offering treatment and acting as an outpatient facility. The state is also working with homeless providers across the state to facilitate capacity for homeless individuals.
Public Health Updates
An executive order has been issued to expedite approval for pharmacists licensed in other states to practice in MA. It also allows for remote prescription processing. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/2WPCURJ.
Certain hospitals are exempt from certain nurse staffing requirements and must ensure that staffing remains adequate to meet the needs of patients. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/3bvbe8Y.
Health care facilities are no longer required to submit a Notice of Determination of Need for certain activities to respond to COVID-19. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/3asK6Yc.
The state has come up with a partnership to deploy personal care attendants to individuals with disabilities in the event that their personal care attendant can no longer work. Hiring processes for PCAs will be streamlined, and PCAs will be allowed to work more hours.
The state is working with deans of medical schools to look at early graduation dates to expand the provider workforce.
Where to donate:
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 impacted by COVID-19:
Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund: https://bit.ly/3bgTBJU
Cambridge Community Foundation: https://bit.ly/33ImGeE
Food for Free: https://bit.ly/3afFuEE
Greater Boston Food Bank: https://www.gbfb.org/
Cradles to Crayons Emergency Essentials Fund: https://bit.ly/2WHOD4V
If you are interested in seeing previous COVID-19 updates, you can find them here:https://www.decker4rep.com/news/ As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.