I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources. As a reminder, I will not be sending out a newsletter next Monday, April 19, 2021 in observance of Patriots’ Day.
Red Sox Week at the Hynes
Next week is "Red Sox Week at the Hynes” where there will be 20,000 first-dose COVID vaccine appointments at the Hynes mass vaccination site in Boston reserved for communities of color. Read more here.
59 High-risk Communities in MA
This week, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health shared a color-coded map to designate the highest-risk communities in red. There are 59 communities in the red zone, compared to 77 the previous week. Read more here.
Governor Baker Shares That He Doesn’t Expect the J&J Pause to Cause Disruption to MA Vaccination Efforts
Governor Baker shared that he expects "minimal disruption" to vaccine distribution in the Commonwealth despite the federal government’s recommendation to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The Governor shared that this vaccine’s doses make up only a small portion of our state’s vaccine supply. Read more here.
Cambridge to Provide Guaranteed Income of $500 Per Month to More Than 100 Residents Congratulations to Mayor Siddiqui and Vice Mayor Mallon for translating this hope into a reality!
The City of Cambridge will launch a Guaranteed Income Pilot Project called Cambridge RISE to provide $500 a month to more than 100 residents who are in single caretaker households with children under the age of 18. This initiative will administer recurring payments to 120 of the city’s most vulnerable residents for over 18 months. Read more here.
Information on Pfizer and Moderna COVID Vaccines
The city of Cambridge released info on the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, which both do not contain any: eggs, pork (or other) animal products or gluten; antibiotics; blood products; DNA; preservatives; soy. Learn more here.
DHSP Online Free Virtual Activities Next Week During April Vacation
DHSP Online will offer fun and free virtual activities during April Vacation week, Tuesday, April 20, 2021 through Friday, April 23, 2021, for Cambridge children in grades JK-8. Read more and sign up here.
May 7 Deadline for Small Business Grants
An additional $600,000 in grants for Cambridge small businesses is available through the City’s Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund and the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority. Grant applications accepted from Wednesday, April 14, 2021 until Friday, May 7, 2021. Read more here.
Youth Mental Health Mini-Grants Available
The Cambridge Public Health Department will award six $1,000 mini-grants to support projects promoting youth mental health and wellness in Cambridge. Applications are due by next Tuesday, April 20, 2021. For more information and to apply, go to bit.ly/3u3pEWX.
Council on Aging Homebound Vaccination Program
The homebound vaccination program is for people who would not otherwise be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine unless they receive it in their home. It does not include individuals who are temporarily homebound; and/or able to leave the home with adequate assistance; or those who would prefer to get a vaccine in their home. If you meet the definition for homebound, or know someone who does, please call the Cambridge Council on Aging (CoA) at 617-349-6220. Learn more here.
Translation Resources Available
Multilingual city resources and information on COVID-19 are available on the City's multilingual help page.
Baker Press Conference Updates
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today. You can watch the Governor’s latest updates here.
Nationwide and Federal Updates
Pfizer Shares That Follow-up Shots Will Most Likely be Necessary to Fight COVID
Pfizer’s chief executive shared yesterday that a third dose of the COVID vaccine will likely be needed within a year of vaccination, followed by annual vaccinations. Watch the Pfizer chief executive’s pre-recorded conversation hosted by CVS Health Corp. here.
Study Shows That Opening Schools Increases Parent Comfort With In-Person Learning
A new study showed that extended school closures may relay the message to parents that schools are unsafe and make them think that they should keep their children at home. Yet, parents became enthusiastic about in-person learning when districts across the nation announced they were reopening. Learn more about the study here.
New Hampshire Lifts Mask Mandate Despite a Possible New Wave
Yesterday, Governor Chris Sununu announced that he is ending New Hampshire’s statewide mask mandate tomorrow, despite federal officials urging him to keep this important measure in place. Read more here.
MA Vaccination Updates
Vaccine Eligibility to Expand Monday
Next Monday, April 19, 2021, the general public age 16 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Preparing for your Vaccination Appointment
Learn about how you can prepare for your vaccination appointment here.
Resources for Booking and Getting to Your Appointment
- Online: Pre-register for mass vaccination sites at vaccinesignup.mass.gov. All state vaccination sites are online at vaxfinder.mass.gov/, or you can 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 60+ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- All MassHealth members or Health Safety Net patients can get free transportation to COVID-19 vaccine appointments. You can request transportation for a scheduled appointment by calling (800) 841-2900. You may find additional information on transportation help here.
- 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!
Cambridge Vaccination Data
The City of Cambridge has added Cambridge Vaccination Data to its COVID-19 Data Center. Data will be updated weekly on Fridays at 4 PM. Information as of Friday, April 16, 2021:
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 47,553
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 26,392
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
The Department of Public Health publishes a Daily COVID-19 Vaccine Report in addition to its Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Report. Information as of Friday, April 16, 2021:
Total doses administered: 4,921,580
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 5,784,700
Massachusetts is currently at the end 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. Questions can be submitted to COVID-19-Vaccine-Plan-MA@mass.gov.
Today’s Case Count
Total Cases: 628,512
New Cases: 1,962
Total Deaths: 17,100
Tests Today: 107,587
Total Cases: 5,939
New Cases: 26
Total Deaths: 121
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.
Cambridge COVID Testing Sites
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:
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 Avenue, 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.