I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, 3,769 Cambridge residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 111 residents have passed away, according to the state’s database. Learn more here. There have been 438,371 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 5,074 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 100,968 tests have been performed today, and 13,231 have passed away. Learn more here.
Baker Press Conference Updates
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today.
The state has created an interactive dashboard, including the percentage of COVID-19 positive cases and testing rates by city and town. The dashboard can be viewed here.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reported that there were more than 900 new COVID-19 cases in schools over the past week. Of those cases, 523 were among students and 407 were among staff.
New data from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority show record high levels of COVID-19 in wastewater samples from the Greater Boston area. A sample taken Monday found 2,069 viral RNA copies per milliliter, the study’s highest level since the start of the pandemic and the fourth consecutive sample with a level over 1,700. Read more here.
The application deadline for the sector-specific Small Business Relief Grant Program administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Program has been extended to 11:59 PM on Monday, 01/18/21. This grant program is for sectors most impacted by COVID-19. Grants of up to $75,000, or not more than three months’ operating expenses, are available to be used on payroll and employee benefit costs, mortgage and rent costs, utilities, and more.
The Mass Cultural Council has launched a second round of financial relief for individuals whose creative practices and incomes have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Grants of $1,500 are now available to Massachusetts individual artists and independent teaching artists/humanists/scientists. The application deadline is 2/2/21.
Governor Baker will deliver a virtual State of the Commonwealth address live from the State House on Tuesday, January 26 at 7:00 PM.
Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Report
The Department of Public Health’s Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Report is updated each Thursday by 5 PM based on information available in the Massachusetts Immunization System. The report includes vaccine distribution numbers by county, as well as age and race/ethnicity breakdowns of those receiving vaccines. Information as of January 14, 2021:
- Cumulative first doses administered: 206,190
- Cumulative second doses administered: 32,984
- Cumulative Moderna doses shipped to MA: 205,100
- Cumulative Pfizer doses shipped to MA: 142,350
The Department of Public Health will launch an interactive digital dashboard soon.
Massachusetts is currently in Phase One of vaccine rollout, having started vaccinating first responders this week. On January 18, vaccination starts for the roughly 94,000 people living and working in congregate care settings like group homes, shelters, residential treatment programs and correctional facilities. Vaccinations at a few vaccination clinics and a select group of retail pharmacies will also begin next week for current priority groups in Phase 1. Home-based healthcare workers and healthcare workers doing non-COVID facing work are the next priority groups.
Individuals currently eligible for vaccination in Phase One can visit mass.gov/CovidVaccineMap to view vaccine locations, including mass vaccination sites, sign-up and eligibility information. Gillette Stadium is the first mass vaccination site; to determine if you are eligible and to schedule an appointment, visit CIC Health. Sites will continue to be added with appointments released on a rolling basis.
As the state transitions into Phase Two, the first group will be individuals with 2+ comorbidities, individuals aged 75+, and residents and staff of public and private low-income and affordable senior housing. Following this population, workers in COVID-vulnerable sectors, such as teachers, sanitation and public health workers, and transit workers will be vaccinated. Phase Two will finish with vaccinating schedules for individuals 65+ and individuals with one comorbidity.
Phase Three will expand vaccination efforts to the general public.
For more details and updates on vaccination priorities, please visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/when-can-i-get-the-covid-19-vaccine.
Vaccinations for first responders began on January 11. Details can be found at mass.gov/FirstResponderVaccine.
Harvard University COVID-19 information, click here.
MIT COVID-19 information, click here.
Eric Lander, President and Founder of the Broad Institute, Joining Biden Administration
I am delighted that Cambridge’s own Eric Lander, president and founding director of the Broad Institute, has been appointed White House science advisor and head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) by President-Elect Joe Biden. I have full faith that Eric’s leadership and vision will move us towards addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and other challenges, as well as improving STEM education and providing equitable access to the opportunities and benefits of science and technology.
2021 Cambridge MLK Day (Week) of Service and Learning
Many Helping Hands 365 in partnership with My Brothers Keeper Cambridge and YWCA Cambridge and More Than Words presents the 2021 MLK WEEK OF SERVICE and LEARNING. Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and work by joining with others to serve those in need in our community and to learn how you can help create an equitable community that brings us closer to racial justice and equality. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the inequality and injustice in our society. But we can still lend our helping hands. And we can work together to make this a day—and even a week—of giving and learning. Join together virtually for hands-on service on MLK Day and for a Week of Racial and Social Justice Conversations focused on Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work, legacy and continuing power to challenge and inspire us:
Please REGISTER for the 2021 MLK Day of Service!!! Please be sure to download Zoom in advance, if you don’t already have it. The first event will start 2:00-2:30 pm—MLK Day Welcome Gathering: An Act of Remembrance. To attend any of the events for the week of service and learning, click here.
Enroll Now for In-Person or Remote Learning for 2nd Semester
In order for schools to plan, Cambridge Public Schools need to hear from every family on whether you prefer in-person or remote learning for each of your student(s). All families may choose to continue remote learning for their child. The deadline to complete the form is this Friday, 1/15. Read more here.
- January 18: Schools closed, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- January 25: Families will be notified of their students’ enrollment status and assignments. In-person families will receive additional information to plan for the return to in-person learning.
- February 8: Earliest start to in-person learning.
Cambridge flu clinics are over, but you can still get a flu shot.
The Cambridge Public Health Department’s annual public flu clinics ended on November 14, 2020. Please note that the Cambridge Public Health Department will not be able to offer any flu shot appointments at its office this year due to the pandemic.
Residents are encouraged to visit a local pharmacy or make an appointment with their health care provider. Flu shots are covered by most Massachusetts health insurance plans. Cambridge Health Alliance patients (12 – 22 years old) or Cambridge Public School students (12 – 22 years old) can now receive a flu shot at the Teen Health Center located in Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. Call 617-665-1548 to schedule an appointment.
Cambridge Library Services
Contactless Holds Pickup Service hours at the O’Neill Branch, 70 Rindge Ave., Cambridge have been suspended from Saturday, Jan. 2 through at least Monday, Jan. 18. The Library’s virtual programs and services and digital collections continue to be available. For assistance, call 617-349-4040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 – Christian Life Center located at 85 Bishop Allen Drive. 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
Transition House in Need of Emergency Donations
Transition House’s mission is to break the cycle of domestic violence in our community. In its first decades, Transition House created the first shelter on the East Coast, a legal services program for battered women, a foster grandparent program, and pioneered school-based teen dating violence intervention curricula and programs. Learn more here.
Today, Transition House provides vital housing options for individuals and families surviving domestic and intimate partner violence in Cambridge. With a 40% increase in emergency housing as a response to the pandemic, and rising expenses, Transition House needs support with their mission now more than ever. If you would like to donate, click here. If you would like to order from their wishlist, click here.
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:
- Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund
- Cambridge Health Alliance
- Cambridge Community Center
- Cambridge Community Foundation
- Chelsea Food Collaborative
- Food for Free
- Greater Boston Food Bank
- Hospitality Workers COVID-19 Emergency Fund
- Cradles to Crayons Emergency Essentials Fund
- Mount Auburn Hospital
- The One Chelsea 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
- Prisoners’ Legal Services
- Boston NAACP
- Massachusetts Bail Fund
- ACLU of Massachusetts
- Union of Minority Neighborhoods
There will be no COVID-19 newsletter on Monday, January 18 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.