I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, 2,254 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 225,787 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 4,613 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 105,845 patients have been tested today, and 10,824 have passed away. Learn more here.
Save the date
I am hosting a town hall on adolescent mental health and the arts during the COVID-19 pandemic next Thursday 12/10 at 5PM. I will be joined by Roxann Mascoll, a mental health clinician, Keith Mascoll, an Actor, Producer, and Mental Health advocate and CRLS students. Keep an eye out for a link to register for the Zoom in the coming days, or join in by watching CCTV Channel 9 or Facebook Live. Please submit questions you have ahead of time to Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov, or submit them in the Q&A chat during the town hall. I hope to see you there.
To listen to Keith and Roxann’s podcast Living a Triggered Life Podcast, which is focuses on a Black couple who have their own trauma histories talk Love, mental health, relationships, and family dynamics as they explore the impact on their long term marriage, click here.
Keith has also worked on The Boys 2 Men Monologues project, which uses art to guide young men in writing a personal monologue including their thoughts about manhood, mental health, being black and brown during the Black Lives Matter movement, and being resilient. To learn more about the project, click here.
State Action Updates
Vaccine panel prioritizes health care workers, long-term care residents
A federal advisory committee recommended on Tuesday that the initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccines expected to become available starting in two weeks should go to health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities before being rolled out to other high-priority groups over the coming months. Gov. Charlie Baker said the anticipated arrival of the vaccines means there is “light at the end of the tunnel,” but he cautioned that most of the general public won’t gain access to the shots until April, May, or June at the earliest. Read more here.
At Least 99 People At Hampden County Jail Positive For Coronavirus
Close to 100 people at the Hampden County Jail have tested positive for the coronavirus, making it the latest Massachusetts correctional facility to experience a spike in cases. Sheriff Nick Cocchi, who said he ordered testing at the facility because of the increasing number of cases across the state, confirmed that 79 prisoners and 20 members of the jail's staff returned positive results. The prisoners who tested positive are in medical quarantine and receiving care, according to Cocchi. The affected staff members are isolating at home. Read more here.
77% of Massachusetts schools have some form of in-person learning, 23% are remote as COVID pandemic continues
The majority of school districts in Massachusetts have students in classrooms at least part-time as the coronavirus pandemic continues, according to state education officials. About 77% of districts are either in-person or hybrid and 23% of districts are fully remote as of Tuesday, according to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Boston, Worcester and Springfield are among districts with online learning only. Those percentages are roughly the same as earlier this year. In August, a few weeks before the academic year began, officials said more than 70% of districts were planning on hybrid or fully in-person learning while 30% were going remote. This fall, Gov. Charlie Baker, Education Secretary James Peyser and DESE Commissioner Jeffrey Riley have urged districts to keep students in classrooms unless there is evidence of in-school transmission of the virus. Read more here.
Baker Press Conference Updates:
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today.
Harvard University COVID-19 information, click here.
MIT COVID-19 information, click here
Update Regarding Holiday COVID-19 Testing in Cambridge
City of Cambridge and Cambridge Public Health Department COVID-19 testing appointments for December are now available. Due to the Broad Institute (testing lab) holiday schedule, testing will not be available at city sites on the following dates:
December 23, 24, and 25. Testing will resume on Saturday, December 26
December 30, 31 and January 1. Testing will resume on Saturday, January 2
Black Cambridge & COVID-19
A Youth Roundtable with Becoming a Man this Sunday, December 6th at 1pm, with hosts Cambridge School Committee Vice-Chair Manikka Bowman and Former Mayor & City Councilor Denise Simmons. The series engages a cross-sector of Black leaders in the City of Cambridge, the state of COVID-19, and how the Black community survives the pandemic.
You can tune in Sunday, December 6th at 1:00pm by
- Pre-registering on zoom
- Watch on FB Live,
- CCTV's Channel 9, cctvcambridge.org/channel09, or youtube.com/cctvcambridge
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 10x10 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:
- Monday - 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm
- Tuesday - 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm
- Wednesday - 2254 Massachusetts Ave, St. John the Evangelist Church, 10:00am – 6:00pm
- Thursday - CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, 11:00am – 7:00pm (Drive-through testing in garage. Enter on First St.)
- Friday - 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm
- Saturday - Pisani Center located at 131 Washington Street. 11:00am – 7:00pm
- Sunday - CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, 11:00am – 7:00pm (Drive-through testing in garage. Enter on First St.)
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."
For the four upcoming Fridays (11/27, 12/4, 12/11, 12/18) Cambridge Cohousing invites you to donate a children's book with your food donation -- a new or in very new-like condition for children ages infant to 10 years old. Our partner in Chelsea is very grateful. They say that not only will the children benefit but also adults who are learning English or learning to read to and with their children. They will distribute during the holiday seasons coming up. Thanks for your continued support.
A Collective Kindness Effort
Cambridge Camping has been serving low-income families for 127 years. I feel honored to be an alum of their summer camp program. Now, more than ever, our children need support, connection to mentors and peers, and the opportunity to create and share joy. Since COVID, CCA has innovated to support its families, providing necessary services – diapers, food, school supplies - and safely offered in person and virtual programming. Cambridge Camping has risen to the COVID challenge and proven that relationships and connection are stronger than any virus.
As we enter this season of giving and gratitude, CCA is grateful for the support we’ve received to date, yet we are $3,000 away from our goal which will allow us to provide gift baskets of hearty holiday food and toys to camper families. Please help us raise $3,000 by December 15 and together we will bring joy and much needed essential relief. If you cannot contribute, please share and join us in our wish for a peaceful, healthy 2021. Donate here today.
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.