I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates
The Administration Launches Summer Learning Programs, More than $70 Million in Funding for Schools and Community Partners Across the Commonwealth
Today Governor Baker visited Canton Galvin Middle School and saw how their teachers, faculty, and staff have implemented safe and effective in-person learning for students. There, the administration announced the launch of summer learning initiatives, such as the new Acceleration Academies. Also, they announced the availability of over $70 million in funding for school districts and community organizations to bolster opportunities for continued learning this summer. Read more here.
You can watch the Governor's latest updates here.
The Administration Announces $7.7 Million to Support and Expand Shared Local Public Health Services
The Administration has announced $7.7 million dollars in grants to help strengthen local public health services under a new Massachusetts DPH program to help 29 groups representing 191 cities and towns across the Commonwealth increase cross-jurisdictional sharing of public health services and staff. Read more here.
Revised Mask Order Effective Today, April 30
The Administration’s revised mask order is effective today, April 30, 2021. Masks are no longer required outdoors when social distancing is possible. Masks remain required at indoor public places and at events except when eating or drinking. Learn more here.
Helpline for People Who Abuse
There is a new Helpline for People Who Abuse that launched on April 15, 2021, that came out of CARES ACT funding for COVID-19. The Helpline is open to any resident of the Commonwealth, it is the first in the nation of its kind, and is based out of Western Massachusetts. You can find more information here.
Nationwide and Federal Updates
The White House Shares that the U.S. will Begin Restricting Travel from India on Tuesday
The Biden administration shared today that it would begin restricting travel to the United States from India, where COVID-19 has been tragically claiming over 3,000 lives each day. Read more here.
Anxiety Drove Vaccine Reactions in 5 States in the US
Health officials have concluded that it was anxiety and not an issue with the COVID vaccines that caused bad reactions in five US states earlier this month. Learn more here.
Cambridge to Advance to Phase IV, Step 1 of the Reopening Plan
Cambridge will follow the same schedule as the Commonwealth and advance to Phase IV, Step 1 of the Administration’s Reopening Plan on Thursday, May 6, 2021. The city will increase gathering limits for event venues and in public settings to 100 indoors and 150 outdoors at that time. The city will also relax outdoor mask-wearing, only when social distancing is possible today, April 30, 2021. Read more here.
Fuel Assistance Program Accepting Applications Until May 28
Beginning in July 2021, the utility payment moratorium will end. If you need assistance paying your heating bills, the Fuel Assistance Program is accepting applications through Friday, May 28, 2021. Read more here.
Maura Pensak Named Outstanding City of Cambridge Employee & Housing Assistance Information
The city's Housing Liaison, Maura Pensak, has been named an Outstanding City of Cambridge Employee for her work with residents in vulnerable housing situations. If you are at risk of eviction or in need of other housing assistance, please call 617-349-9777 or learn more here.
COVID-19 Housing Stabilization Program
The COVID-19 Housing Stabilization Program provides short term financial assistance to individuals and families in Cambridge who are experiencing housing instability. New applicants are encouraged to apply. Learn more here.
Friday, 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 will be accepted until Friday, May 7, 2021. Read more here.
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.
MA Vaccination Updates
Vaccine Eligibility Open to All Adults
All Massachusetts residents aged 16 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, people under the age of 18 can only receive the Pfizer vaccine and there are certain steps these individuals should take prior to scheduling their appointment. Learn more here.
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 email@example.com.
- 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 Thursdays at 5 PM. Information as of Thursday, April 29, 2021:
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 65,530
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 35,987
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 30, 2021:
Total doses administered: 6,097,946
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 7,172,680
Massachusetts is currently in Phase Three 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: 645,867
New Cases: 1,179
Total Deaths: 17,259
Tests Today: 84,248
Total Cases: 6,123
New Cases: 9
Total Deaths: 122
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.