I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today,1424 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 133,359 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 454 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 2,330,656 have been tested, and 9,323 have passed away. Learn more here.
State Action Updates
Massachusetts updates lists of COVID-19 lower risk states. You can read the full update here
Today during a legislative briefing we received an update. These statistics are a snapshot of where we are and do not reflect the nature of who is more likely to be infected.
- 20% of the Covid-19 cases are related to facilities
- Less than 5% trace back to college campuses
- Less than 3% from long term care facilities.
- In the Spring long term care facilities accounted for 30% of the cases.
- Household transmission--in which family members caught covid from another member of the household accounts for about 1/3 of the cases
- In April the average age of someone diagnosed with Covid-19 was 54 today the average age is under 40 with the largest increase for people between the ages of 16-29 yrs old
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates:
Today the Baker administration announced a new round of grant money as part of the Shared Streets and Spaces grant program, which helps to create space for socially distanced commerce, dining and walking amid the pandemic. So far more than 100 grants to over 100 cities and towns have been awarded. Applications were closed last week and the final grants will be awarded this week totaling 10 million dollars.
Governor Baker sharply criticized President Donald Trump today, saying it is "incredibly irresponsible" for him to ignore the advice of public health officials following his recent positive coronavirus diagnosis. President Trump is back home at the White House recovering from COVID-19.
The Governor also discussed how Halloween might look this year in Massachusetts. He announced that his administration will put out tips and advice not rules or mandates regarding Halloween. Baker said he has no plans to ban trick or treating statewide, and will instead leave it up to individual communities to decide what is best for them. But he did advise people to avoid indoor Halloween parties of any kind.
The City of Cambridge delays the transition to Step 2 of Phase III for lower risk communities.
The Cambridge Commissioner of Public Health has determined that allowing Step 2 of Phase III of the Reopening Plan to commence in the City of Cambridge on October 5, 2020 will likely contribute to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the city and presents a public health risk for the residents of the city and those of neighboring communities. You can find more information about it here.
The City of Cambridge amended its temporary emergency order requiring the wearing of masks or cloth face coverings in all public places, businesses and common areas of residential buildings. The order conforms to the latest requirements by the state concerning children and face coverings. The state requires face coverings for all persons over the age of 5 attending indoor or outdoor gatherings. The state also requires that children under the age of 2 not wear face coverings or masks. For children 2 years of age and older, a mask or face covering should be used, if possible. Mask use by children 2 years of age and up through the age of 5 is encouraged but should be at the discretion of the child’s parent or guardian at this time. Read the full order here.
The City also amended the temporary emergency restrictions on public meetings and events. The City announced that all City-sponsored community events, athletic events, events permitted for the use of City parks, or other City-sponsored public gatherings will be cancelled through October 26, 2020, or postponed to a later date. All prior approvals for events or gatherings are revoked. The City Manager's Office is collaborating with the City's COVID-19 Expert Advisory Panel, the Commissioner of Public Health, and the Cambridge Public Health Department to evaluate and determine what Halloween activities will be allowed in the City. Further guidance on Halloween activities in the City will be released next week. City sponsored youth sports activities that take place in City parks or other City athletic facilities are permitted, subject to obtaining a City permit, and further subject to complying with all COVID-19 requirements and guidelines concerning youth sports issued by the State, which include but are not limited to requirements concerning social distancing, hygiene protocols, staffing and operations, and cleaning and disinfecting. You can read more about it here.
Where to Get Tested
Testing appointments through the City's free mobile-testing program are now available at the following locations:
King Open School, 850 Cambridge Street, 10AM-12PM on Tuesday, October 6 and Thursday, October 8.
- Pisani Center, 131 Washington Street, 11AM-7PM, on October 3 and 10.
- 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.
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.