I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, there are 1317 Cambridge residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 99 residents have passed away. Learn more here. There have been 121,396 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 182 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 1,888,323 patients have been tested, and 8,937 have passed away. Learn more here.
State Action Updates
The state’s application to receive grant funding to pay a limited additional weekly unemployment benefit to claimants for the 5 weeks ending 8/1/20, 8/8/20, 8/15/20, 8/22/20, and 8/29/20 under the federal Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance (LWA) has been approved by FEMA. The grant will fund an additional $300 weekly payment to those who are eligible for at least $100 in weekly unemployment benefits for these five weeks.
- Eligible Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimants already received the first three weeks of LWA payments. The additional 2 weeks of benefits will be processed beginning today, Wednesday 9/9.
- Disbursements to eligible standard Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants for the full five weeks of additional benefits will begin tomorrow, Thursday 9/10, and payments are expected to be in claimants bank accounts by Tuesday 9/15.
Today, the Supreme Judicial Court heard arguments from attorneys of two convicted individuals arguing that the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic warrant keeping them out of custody until the public health crisis has subsided.
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates:
Governor Baker held a press conference today. He announced that Framingham will be added to the list of communities that the Stop COVID-19 campaign is focusing on. Additional enforcement and resources have been dedicated to these communities including testing, contact tracing, public awareness, and more.
He announced that as college students and faculty have been returning to campuses they have been getting tested, and that the Department of Public Health will start reporting data on college COVID-19 testing shortly.
The Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission visited 1200 establishments across the state last week. Fines and warnings were issued to 300 businesses for failing to enforce public health regulations. 900 businesses were found to be in compliance with COVID-19 protocols.
The Cambridge Health Alliance is participating in the Massachusetts Opioid Screening & Awareness Day on September 22nd. They will be holding a free virtual town hall from 9-11AM, where you can learn from experts about opioid use, treatment and local services. You can also find information on screenings and resources are available here.
The U.S. Census Bureau is holding Mobile Questionnaire Assistance events in Cambridge on September 11th at 3PM at 30 Cambridgepark Drive and on the 14th at 2PM at Washington Elms. Assistance will be provided in multiple languages for those who have questions or need help completing their Census. There will be iPads available to assist in completion and those assisting will be wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
The City of Cambridge is using Cambridge based Biobot Analytics’ analysis of COVID-19 levels through wastewater testing as one of three factors in its reopening of schools for in-person learning. Measurements can predict what will happen in the community in 4-7 days.
There will be partial roadway grinding and paving operations in several locations throughout Cambridge. Specific work days are not available, so be sure to watch for “No Parking” signs which will be posted 24 hours in advance and indicate exact locations and dates. Vehicles within the project area will need to be moved by 7AM.
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'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 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:
Cambridge Community Foundation
Cradles to Crayons Emergency Essentials 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
Union of Minority Neighborhoods
As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.