I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources. Thank you for reading these updates. A reminder to please be patient with us over the next few days as we work on reformatting the newsletter to ensure that you are getting the most updated and relevant information in the most visually accessible way. We are still juggling a high volume of constituent services and legislative work, so we are doing our best to dedicate more time to the newsletter updates.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced today that the MCAS will be postponed for grades 3, 4, and 5. Instead of starting April 5, testing will begin May 10. Testing dates for grades 6, 7 and 8 are yet to be determined. Read more here. I have filed legislation this session for a moratorium on all statewide standardized testing for the duration of the pandemic as well as for a 3-year moratorium.
MA Ends Quarantine Requirement for 3 More States
Massachusetts officials have deemed Missouri, Oregon and Washington lower risk for travelers today, ending the requirement to quarantine for 10 days after arriving from those three states. The change goes into effect this weekend. Read more here.
MA Vaccination Updates
There are no updates today.
Resources for Booking and Getting to Your Appointment
- Online: Go to vaxfinder.mass.gov/, or book directly with a pharmacy at cvs.com or walgreens.com. You can also visit macovidvaccines.com, which is not an official site but is more user-friendly than the state site.
- Phone: Call 2-1-1 between 8:30 AM-8:00 PM Monday-Thursday or 8:30 AM-5:00 PM Friday-Sunday and select the prompt for “help scheduling a vaccine appointment.” This multilingual service is for residents who don’t have Internet access or have trouble using the Internet.
- Need help? For detailed information about how to make an appointment, including updates about specific health care providers, see the Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services vaccine resources page. You can also visit macovidvaxhelp.com, which is an unofficial site staffed by volunteers for eligible individuals who are unable to book vaccine appointments on their own.
- Need a ride? Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) is offering free transportation for local adults aged 65+ to COVID-19 vaccination sites in Cambridge and Somerville as well as Fenway Park and CHA Malden. For more information, click here. To register for a ride, call SCES at 617-628-2601 or email email@example.com.
- The City of Cambridge has published accessibility information for the state’s mass vaccination sites. You can find it here.
Don’t forget to book your second appointment while you’re getting your first dose!
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
Total doses administered: 2,005,800
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 2,420,360
Massachusetts is currently in the middle of Phase Two of the vaccine rollout.
For more details and updates on vaccination priorities, please visit mass.gov/CovidVaccine.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has a Frequently Asked Questions site that is continually updated as they receive new questions. You may access the FAQs here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccine-frequently-asked-questions. Questions can be submitted to COVID-19-Vaccine-Plan-MA@mass.gov.
Baker Press Conference Updates
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today. You can watch the Governor’s COVID-19 latest updates here.
There are no updates today.
Today’s Case Count
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.
For Harvard University COVID-19 information, click here.
For MIT COVID-19 information, click here.
Outdoor Dining in Cambridge
The City of Cambridge is committed to working with affected businesses to help them maintain outdoor dining in public areas throughout 2021.
Free Tax Preparation by Just-A-Start (JAS)
Just-A-Start (JAS) is offering free remote tax preparation for individuals living in the Greater Boston area who make less than $56,000. Limited in-person service will be available by appointment only. Learn more here.
Winter Farmers Market in Central Square
The Central Square Winter Farmers Market is open Mondays from 12 PM to 4 PM now until Monday, April 19, 2021 at 76 Bishop Allen Drive. They accept SNAP, HIP, and P-EBT and offer a $15 SNAP match. Pre-ordering is available. Read more here.
Apply to Be Part of Starlight Square Season Two
The Starlight Square Steering Committee is now accepting applications for its Spring/Summer season. Anyone interested in organizing programming, performances or events can respond to the request for proposals here; applications are due by Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 11:59 PM. Read more here.
Cambridge Public Library Services – Remote Printing Now Available
In keeping with its efforts to bridge the gap in access to technology during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cambridge Public Library is now offering remote printing. Details are available on the library website at www.cambridgema.gov/cpl. For assistance, call 617-349-4040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Translation Resources Available
Multilingual city resources and information on COVID-19 are available on the City’s multilingual help page.
Mental Health Services and Resources
If you or a loved one are struggling, please know that you are not alone. Here are some great resources:
Cambridge COVID Testing Sites
Where to Give
On Fridays, Cambridge CoHousing will be collecting food either in a paper bag or small box for the Chelsea Food Collaborative. Drop off is between 9 AM and 2:30 PM at the entrance to CoHousing at 175 Richdale Ave, Cambridge, MA. If you don’t see someone at the moment you arrive, please leave it just inside the gate where we will have boxes marked “For Chelsea.”
Transition House in Need of Emergency Donations:
If you are able to give to others during this time, I encourage you to look to additional 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.