I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, there are 1288 Cambridge residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 99 residents have passed away. Learn more here. There are 119,138 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. 1,754,422 patients have been tested, and 8,831 have passed away. Learn more here.
The City of Cambridge’s 7th Participatory Budgeting cycle is now underway. Ideas for how to allocate $500,000 on capital projects to improve the community will be accepted until September 30th. This year’s process will be abbreviated and will use contactless methods for idea collection due to COVID-19. You can submit your ideas online, via email to email@example.com, by calling 617-349-4270, or by mail to City of Cambridge Budget Office 795 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge, MA 02139.
You can also volunteer as a Budget Delegate to research project ideas submitted by community members and determine which ones will make it to the ballot for the PB vote. Budget delegate meetings will be conducted virtually and delegates can participate through a computer or over the phone. Learn more and sign up here. The deadline to apply is September 25th.
Applications are open for the City’s Business Planning Program, a 10-week program which covers information about financing, marketing techniques, business plan development, and honing a business pitch. This program is free for up to twelve HUD-eligible Cambridge residents and/or business owners.
The City’s case count page now includes links to university data from Harvard and MIT for their campus communities.
A special thank you filled with gratitude to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard which performed its one-millionth test for COVID-19 on Sunday. It tests about 40,000 nasal swabs collected and driven there by about 30 couriers per day.
The Department of Conservation and Recreation announced that starting on Tuesday 9/8 and continuing through Monday 11/30 it will begin parking enforcement along all DCR Parkways during street sweeping operations. This will impact Cambridge Parkway, Memorial Drive, and Hawthorne Street in Cambridge. You can find the list of days and hours here.
Where to Get Tested
The City’s COVID-19 free mobile testing will resume on September 9th. Locations of testing appointments will be released as soon as they are available.
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.
State Action Updates
The Department of Unemployment Assistance has begun disbursement of Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) benefits to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimants. PUA claimants will receive benefits beginning tomorrow 9/2, and payments are expected in claimant accounts by Saturday 9/5. LWA benefits for those eligible and receiving standard unemployment assistance are expected to be disbursed on or before 9/15.
The RMV will begin offering designated service hours for customers who are age 75 and older and required to renew their Massachusetts driver’s license in person. These hours will be by appointment only and will happen on Wednesdays throughout September at select service center locations. The services will begin tomorrow, Wednesday, September 2nd at the Watertown Service Center with additional locations in Danvers, Leominster, New Bedford, and South Yarmouth to follow beginning on Wednesday, September 9.
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates:
Today, Governor Baker held a press conference. He toured recently-completed improvements to the Green Line that were completed on an accelerated timeline. He was joined by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack and MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak.
Today, Governor Baker’s administration announced an end to the National Guard activation order that he issued on Friday. He stated at the press conference that the National Guard was activated at the request of municipal officials who sought backup resources if planned demonstrations grew larger than what they could manage.
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.