I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
Baker Press Conference Updates
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today.
I have been working on trying to provide you more updated information in a separate newsletter. I’m sorry for the delay – my office has been fielding a ton of calls while we also juggle getting legislation filed for the new session. We will have time to work on this over the weekend and will send it out as soon as we can.
Individuals age 75 and older will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination as of February 1, 2021 and can begin making appointments for dates February 1 or later at mass.gov/COVIDVaccineMap.
Johnson & Johnson announced today that its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine was 66 percent effective overall in clinical trials. The vaccine was 85 percent effective at preventing severe COVID-19 cases of the kind that lead to hospitalization or death. The company is seeking emergency use authorization for its vaccine in the US early next month.
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 28, 2021:
- Cumulative doses administered: 496,103
- Cumulative Moderna doses shipped to MA: 482,700
- Cumulative Pfizer doses shipped to MA: 245,700
You can view the DPH interactive data dashboard here.
Massachusetts is currently in Phase One of vaccine rollout. Residents in all Phase One groups can now make appointments to receive a vaccine at more than 150 locations across the state including first responder only sites, the newly opened mass vaccination site at Gillette Stadium, regional vaccination sites and participating CVS Health and Walgreens pharmacies. Additional mass vaccination sites, pharmacy sites, and community clinic sites will open in more locations on a rolling basis. A full map of vaccination sites with links for appointments can be found here.
As the state transitions into Phase Two in February, the first priority groups will be individuals aged 75+, individuals aged 65+ and individuals with 2+ comorbidities. Following this population, workers in COVID-vulnerable sectors, such as teachers (including early education), sanitation and public health workers, and transit workers will be vaccinated. The last priority group for Phase Two will be individuals with 1 co-morbid condition.
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.
As of today, there have been 491,642 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 2,781 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 86,197 tests have been performed today, and 14,154 have passed away. Learn more here.
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.
Massachusetts school districts, education collaboratives and approved special education schools reported 969 new cases of COVID-19 to state education officials during the week from Jan. 21-27. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s latest round of weekly data shows 624 new cases among students and 345 among staff.
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 February 2, 2021.
As of today, 4,266 Cambridge residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 114 residents have passed away, according to the state’s database. Learn more here.
Harvard University COVID-19 information, click here.
MIT COVID-19 information, click here.
The City of Cambridge announced that it is extending its rollback to a modified Phase II, Step 2 of the Commonwealth’s Reopening Massachusetts Plan for one week and will be returning to Phase III, Step 1 effective on Monday, February 8 at 12:00 AM. Sectors including museums, movie theaters, indoor historic sites and indoor recreational activities will be allowed to reopen at that time. Learn more here.
The Daily Table is a nonprofit community grocer dedicated to providing fresh, tasty, convenient, and nutritious food to communities most in need at prices everyone can afford. The grocer offers 50% off fresh produce for SNAP recipients. Daily Table opened its third location in Central Square, 684 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139. Please spread the word for those who could benefit from this amazing new resource. For more information, click here.
Cambridge Library Services
Contactless holds pick-up at at all library locations will resume the week of February 8. Holds pickup will resume on Monday, February 8 at Central Square Branch and Valente Branch; Tuesday, February 9 at the Main Library; and Wednesday, February 10 at O’Neill Branch. The full schedule of hours and additional details will be posted on the library website at www.cambridgema.gov/cpl. For assistance, call 617-349-4040 or email email@example.com.
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
- Food for Free
- Chelsea Food Collaborative
- 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
As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.