I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources. As of writing this email, the House continues its deliberations on the police reform bill with more to come tomorrow.
As of today, there are 1153 Cambridge residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 99 residents have passed away. Learn more here. There are 107,413 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, including 25,084 in Middlesex County. 1,063,155 patients have been tested, and 8,249 have passed away. Learn more here.
The City is expanding its Small Business Recycling Program starting on November 1st. This program assists small businesses in recycling and reducing waste affordably by providing free collection of up to 3 recycle carts twice per week. All Cambridge small businesses can apply for the program, and approximately 125 will be added. Applications are open and close on September 9th. There will be a public forum on the program on August 10th at 1PM.
The City announced five winning poems that will be imprinted into fresh concrete of new sidewalks around the city starting this fall as part of the 6th annual Sidewalk Poetry Contest.
Where to get tested:
During the month of July, the Cambridge Public Health Department is offering free mobile testing for all Cambridge residents in North Cambridge, The Port, East Cambridge, and Harvard Square one day each week during designated hours. Currently, all appointments for the month of July at these sites have been booked.
Testing will be available at the Pisani Center on Saturdays 7/25 and 8/1 from 11AM-7PM to help meet the demand of the waitlist. You can schedule an appointment 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’s multilingual help page.
State Action Updates
Today, the House is debating on police reform and racial equity legislation, H.4860. I would like to thank Representative Liz Miranda for her leadership on her amendment banning no-knock warrants, which the House passed today. No-knock warrants are common and deadly here in Massachusetts, and SWAT teams with no-knock warrants disproportionately terrorize Black and Brown people. My childhood neighbor Eurie Stamps was killed during a SWAT raid in his home in 2011. Despite the fact that Eurie Stamps complied with officer orders and laid on his stomach with his hands up, he was shot and killed. In many cases, these warrants are executed despite there being small children and elderly people in the home, and often, police with no-knock warrants have found no weapons.
The deadline to select and pay for health insurance coverage through the Health Connector effective August 1st is tomorrow, July 23rd. The extended enrollment period will end tomorrow. After tomorrow, individuals will need a qualifying life event to enroll in coverage outside of the traditional Open Enrollment period.
Today, Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel signed a public health order barring health care providers in Massachusetts from billing those without insurance for a COVID-19 test after receiving reports that some providers were sending large bills for testing to uninsured individuals. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires COVID-19 testing without cost-sharing.
Governor Baker Press Conference
Today, Governor Baker held a press conference at the Salvation Army in Lynn. He announced that 26 organizations will receive $3 million in grants through a new food security infrastructure program launched in June. Organizations that will receive this funding include farms, school meal programs and food pantries.
Federal Action Updates
Yesterday, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Congressman Jim McGovern, and nearly two dozen other lawmakers from the northeast sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture demanding that it provide equitable resources to the Northeast region through the Farmers to Families Food Box program. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, the northeast region has received the second lowest allocation of any area.
Where to Give
This Friday, Cambridge CoHousing will be collecting food to go to Chelsea on Saturday. Drop off is between 10 AM to 4PM 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"
WHAT IS MOST NEEDED:
bags of rice
cereal (none sweetened)
canned tomatoes and tomato sauce
diapers and wipes
Please no fresh foods -- those are supplied by a generous food producer
Also, no desserts, high sugar foods, or chips. THANK YOU!
Here is the LINK to the Chelsea Food Collaborative which this effort is supporting. Another option is to make a financial donation, via link at top of page. Please email Anne Tonachel at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like to make a drop off at a different time.
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.