I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, there are 1183 Cambridge residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 99 residents have passed away. Learn more here. There are 109,096 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, including 25,535 in Middlesex County. 1,149,230 patients have been tested, and 8,360 have passed away. Learn more here.
Today, the City announced that the City of Cambridge Relief and Recovery Programs, the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund for small businesses, and the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA) Zero-Interest Loan program are distributing nearly $3.6 million to small businesses in Cambridge that have been financially impacted by COVID-19.
The Gold Star pool remains closed while it is under construction, and the tentative completion date is mid-August.
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 Saturday 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.
The Cambridge Public Health Department announced that testing will be extended into August due to overwhelming demand. More details on this extended testing will be coming soon.
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.
State Action Updates
Today, the House of Representatives passed H.4888 An Act Putting Patients First. I am proud that four amendments I filed to the bill were adopted: Amendment #76 Including Evaluation as Component of Behavioral Health Telehealth Services, Amendment #78 Including Developmental Disabilities in Definition of Behavioral Health, Amendment #84 Provider-to-Provider Consultation Coverage, and Amendment #90 Eliminating Provisions on Restrictive Patient Prescribing for Telehealth. These amendments are important in preserving access to behavioral healthcare.
The House of Representatives also voted unanimously to extend the Legislative session past the deadline of July 31st.
Tomorrow, the House will deliberate H.4912 An Act creating a 2050 roadmap to a clean and thriving commonwealth.
Today, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released Career/Vocational Technical Education Reopening Guidelines which address the unique challenges that these schools will face when resuming instruction this fall.
As a reminder, starting this Saturday, 8/1, all visitors and returning residents who are entering Massachusetts must follow new travel orders. All those who do not meet an exemption will be required to complete a travel form prior to arriving in Massachusetts and either quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result unless they are coming from a lower-risk state. Failure to comply may result in a $500 fine per day
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates:
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today.
Where to Give
This Friday, Cambridge CoHousing will be collecting food to go to Chelsea on Saturday. Collections will continue on Fridays throughout August. 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:
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.