I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, there are 1083 Cambridge residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 97 residents have passed away. Learn more here. There are 107,611 cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, including 23,697 in Middlesex County. 790,223 patients have been tested, and 7,938 have passed away. Learn more here.
Today, I was proud to speak on a Zoom panel hosted by the NAACP of Cambridge “Criminal Justice and Race: Cambridge and Beyond.....” alongside Suffolk County District Attorney Rachel Rollins and Cambridge Police Commissioner Branville Bard. We had an important and broad conversation on the racial injustice that exists here in Cambridge and necessary police reforms across the state. I am hopeful about the momentum that exists to take big, concrete steps to address police reform and racial injustice at the state level and want to recognize that this is just the beginning of working to make meaningful change.
Today I held a town hall on children’s behavioral health. Thank you to Mary McGeown, Executive Director of Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Alice Cohen, Lead Teacher for Social Emotional Learning for Cambridge Public Schools, and Dr. Meredith Gansner, a psychiatrist who works in inpatient child/adolescent services and conducts research on how youth use and are affected by the Internet and social media, for joining me to discuss the difficulties of navigating this time with children. It’s important for parents to know that there is help and resources available for navigating behavioral health with children, including those listed below:
- Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children is dedicated to leadership in protecting and promoting the rights and well-being of children and families and provides Child & Family Counseling. They have resources available on how to talk to children about racism and injustice.
- Network of Care Massachusetts is a comprehensive statewide online resource to help patients find information on mental health supports and services in their community.
- MCPAP for Moms provides mental health resources for expectant mothers and families.
- Visit the Children’s Mental Health Campaign COVID-19 Resource Page for information specific to assisting children with behavioral health needs and additional resources.
- Cambridge Health Alliance offers a wide variety of mental health and psychiatry services for people of all ages, incomes, and cultural backgrounds.
- Mount Auburn Hospital Behavioral Health offers a variety of services for adults.
- Riverside Community Care offers a variety of mental health and recovery services for children, youth, and adults.
- The Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Multilingual Resources page offers non-English information for coping with stress and other behavioral health conditions during the COVID-19 public health crisis.
- Massachusetts state resource phone lines and webpages:
- Massachusetts 2-1-1 line (dial 2-1-1)
- 2-1-1 HelpSteps page
Thanks to CCTV, you can find a recording of today’s town hall and all previous town halls I have held on COVID-19 related issues here.
Today, the City announced that basketball courts, playgrounds, tot lots, and water play structures will reopen for public use on Monday, June 29. Residents are advised to follow all applicable City and State Public Health guidance and guidelines related to the use of these facilities.
Street cleaning parking restrictions will be enforced starting July 1st.
Where to get tested:
Cambridge residents age 8 or older can get tested at the CHA East Cambridge Center free of charge regardless of insurance or immigration status. The final day of COVID testing at this location will be this Friday, 6/26. To schedule an appointment, call 617-665-2928.
Starting next week and running through the month of July, the Cambridge Public Health Department will offer mobile testing in North Cambridge, The Port and East Cambridge one day each week during designated hours.
Translation Resources Available:
Multilingual city resources and information on COVID-19 are available on the City’s multilingual help page.
State Action Updates
Today, the House of Representatives voted to approve a $1.1 billion supplemental budget which includes an additional $17.5 million in COVID-19 spending and voted to make Juneteenth an official State holiday. This bill will now go to the Senate.
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates:
Today, the independent report ordered by Governor Baker to investigate the COVID-19 outbreak at Holyoke Soldiers’ Home was released. He announced that 76 veterans have died from COVID-19 at the home. Department of Veteran's Affairs Secretary Francisco Urena resigned from his position Tuesday night, and the Administration will move to fire Holyoke Soldiers' Home Superintendent Bennett Walsh.
Federal Action Updates:
The U.S. Department of Labor has created a tool to help workers determine their Families First Coronavirus Response Act eligibility. The tool asks those using it questions to determine if they are eligible for paid sick leave or paid expanded family and medical leave.
Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration announced that it is awarding $400,000 CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council in Boston and the Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development District in Taunton.
Where to Give
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
Enroot Emergency Immigrant Cash Assistance 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
As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.