Tuesday 11/17 COVID-19 Updates

Dear all,

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

As of today, 1,916 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 186,774 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 2,263 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 65,468 patients have been tested today, and 10,360 have passed away. Learn more here.

 

Harvard University COVID-19 information, click here.

MIT COVID-19 information, click here.

 

State Action Updates

Massachusetts Department of Health seeks bidders to test digital COVID-19 contact tracing system that uses Bluetooth signals

Massachusetts is considering using Bluetooth signals on mobile devices to track and warn people who are exposed to someone infected with the coronavirus. The state Department of Public Health is seeking bidders to help pilot digital contact tracing efforts to see how effective it is and whether the pilot shows any privacy or security flaws, according to a Request for Response published Friday. The state is seeking bidders for three programs under the “Exposure Notification Application Project.” The state expects to select two to three bidders over the next month. At least part of the project involves piloting digital contact tracing technology developed by Google and Apple, which formed a partnership earlier this year to find ways to track and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Read more here.

A generations-long public health crisis’: Massachusetts AG Office’s report outlines steps to resolve medical inequities laid bare by COVID pandemic

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s office to unveil a report about the longstanding disparities and the unequal toll the pandemic has taken on communities of color in the commonwealth. The report, called “Building Toward Racial Justice and Equity in Health: A Call to Action,” outlines five steps to combat medical inequities in Massachusetts that have existed for years and have been laid bare by the coronavirus pandemic, according to Healey. The 71-page report was informed by conversations the prosecutor’s office had with medical professionals, health care workers, researchers, hospital patients and others, the attorney general said. Read more here.

Massachusetts enacts travel restrictions on nearby states

Massachusetts has imposed travel restrictions on most neighboring states, but how are those restrictions enforced? Travel forms and quarantine periods are all things almost everyone has heard of by now, but who do they apply to? Well it depends where you go. As COVID 19 cases continue to surge in Massachusetts, so do the number of travel restrictions in the state and in the states that border the commonwealth. Residents planning to spend more than 24 hours in bordering states such as Connecticut and Vermont must quarantine in that state or show a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of their arrival. If you spent more than 24 hours outside the state of Massachusetts you must quarantine in the commonwealth unless you meet the following criteria.

  • You’re coming from a low risk state such as New Hampshire Vermont and Maine.
  • You’re just driving through
  • A patient receiving medical treatment
  • Traveling on military order
  • A worker providing a critical infrastructure services.

Read more here.

 

Baker Press Conference Updates:

Governor Baker did not hold a COVID-19 related press conference today.

 

Cambridge Updates

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:

 

  • CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, 11:00am – 7:00pm (Drive-through testing in garage. Enter on First St.) Sundays and Thursdays
  • 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm (beginning November 9th) Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays
  • 2254 Massachusetts Ave, St. John the Evangelist Church, 10:00am – 6:00pm Wednesdays
  • Pisani Center located at 131 Washington Street. 11:00am – 7:00pm Saturdays

 

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

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.”

 

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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