I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, 1343 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 123,425 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 286 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 1,980,030 patients have been tested, and 9,016 have passed away. Learn more here.
Today, I participated in the Every Voice Coalition Virtual Day of Advocacy. I’m thankful to the many students and advocates who organized and joined the advocacy day to share their stories and experiences. It’s clear that the time is now to push for systemic change to combat campus sexual violence and remove barriers to reporting. The coalition is pushing for a comprehensive bill that was reported out of the House Committee on Higher Education and includes a bill I filed that requires written notification to every incoming student re: their legal right to work with local and campus police simultaneously in cases of sexual assault. Often students are illegally pressured to choose.
This Monday 9/21 at 5PM I’ll be participating in a panel hosted by the Museum of Science and GBH: Children’s Mental Health: How Science Informs Policy. I’ll be joined by Mathieu Bermingham, MD, Metro West Center for Well Being, and Medical Director of Children’s Services of Roxbury; and Dr. Philip Wang, MD, PhD., Chief of Psychiatry for the Cambridge Health Alliance. You can register for the virtual event here and learn more on the event’s Facebook page.
State Action Updates
The state will take the lead in contact tracing COVID-19 cases among students, faculty, and staff at Boston College. Boston College has had 115 positive cases of COVID-19 since August 16th.
Outdoor dining in Boston, which was initially supposed to last until October 31st, will now be extended until December 1st as part of the City’s Temporary Outdoor Dining Program.
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates:
Today, Governor Baker held a press conference. He stated that the state is keeping an eye on how colleges are handling COVID-19 and reviewing protocols associated with testing, tracing, isolation, quarantining, and notification.
He and Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides announced $11.1 million in grants to cities and towns through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program, which provides support for cities and towns to begin the process of planning for climate change resiliency and implementing priority projects. They also announced that 89% of Massachusetts communities are now participating in the program.
Today, the Cambridge Public Schools and Cambridge Public Health Department announcedthat all school staff working in-person will be provided with free COVID-19 testing twice per week through a partnership with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Easily accessible testing will be available in all buildings on an ongoing basis for staff and students who become ill or receive notification that they should be tested during the school day.
The City is conducting its biennial Resident Opinion Survey. This survey is an evaluation tool where residents can rate City services and offer input on what the City does well and where it can make improvements. It will be open until 10/5.
Cambridge Arts grants are open to artists and cultural organizations to apply for financial support. Funding for arts grants is tripling for the 2020-2021 grant cycle, and there are three new funding opportunities: Art for Racial Justice Grants, Cultural Investment Grants for Organizations, and Port Neighborhood Grants. Applications will be accepted starting 10/1, and the deadline is 11/16.
Where to Get Tested
The City’s COVID-19 free mobile testing will resume on September 9th and will be available at the following locations:
- The Pisani Center (131 Washington St) will offer testing on Saturday, September 19 from 11AM - 7PM
You can make an appointment to be tested online or by calling 617-665-3795.
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'smultilingual 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:
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.