I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
Massachusetts Residents Are Allowed to get the Vaccine in New Hampshire Starting April 19, 2021
Massachusetts residents over the age of 16 will be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Massachusetts as well as New Hampshire on Monday, April 19, 2021. Read more here.
Equity Community Pages
On Monday, April 5, 2021, Equity Community Pages were added to DPH’s website. The Pages include resources for each of the Commonwealth’s 20 hardest hit communities to increase equity in COVID-19 vaccine awareness and access.
Remaining Educator Vaccination Days This Weekend on April 10 and 11
Four days have been designated as Educator Vaccination Days. On those days, the state’s 7 mass vaccination sites will only offer 1st dose appointments for K-12 educators, child care workers and K-12 school staff. The remaining dates are: Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 11. Workers in this group must use the pre-registration system to request an appointment at one of the seven mass vaccination sites and attest they are a K-12 educator, childcare worker or K-12 school staff.
Nationwide and Federal Updates
CDC Recognizes Racism as a Public Health Issue
This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called racism a serious public health threat that directly affects the well-being of millions of Americans. While the impacts of COVID-19 have impacted our society overall, it is critically important to highlight the disproportionate burden of suffering that has impacted communities of color. According to CDC data, these communities have experienced disproportionate case counts and deaths, as well as the most extreme social impacts of the pandemic. The CDC will continue to study the impacts of social determinants on health outcomes, make new and expanded investments in racial and ethnic minority communities, expand internal agency efforts to foster diversity and inclusion, and launch a new web portal, Racism and Health. Read more here.
MA Vaccination Updates
Vaccine Eligibility Expanded
As of Monday, April 5, 2021, individuals age 55 and older as well as individuals with one comorbidity are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Eligible conditions include: asthma, cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, Down Syndrome, heart conditions, immunocompromised state, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking, type 2 diabetes, HIV, type 1 diabetes, and hypertension. 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 9, 2021:
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 37,713
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 21,517
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 9, 2021:
Total doses administered: 4,317,085
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 5,120,960
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.
Baker Press Conference Updates
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today. You can watch the Governor’s latest updates here.
Scams Related to COVID-19 Vaccine
The City of Cambridge is sharing information with residents to make them aware of the possibility of scams targeting residents related to the COVID-19 vaccine and how to protect their personal, medical, and financial information. 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 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.
Today’s Case Count
Total Cases: 615,947
New Cases: 2,184
Total Deaths: 17,031
Tests Today: 92,786
Total Cases: 5,776
New Cases: 40
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.