Friday, December 17 COVID-19 & Legislative Updates

Dear all,

 

I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources as well as recent legislative news. 

 

Table of Contents

  • COVID-19 Testing Information
  • State Updates
  • National Updates
  • Cambridge Updates
  • MA Vaccination Updates
  • Vaccination Appointment Resources
  • Today’s Case Count
  • Legislative Updates
  • Mental Health Services and Resources
  • Where to Give

 

COVID-19 Testing Information

 

Saturday Tests Available in Cambridge by Appointment

  • Visit https://www.cic-health.com/cambridge to make an appointment.
  • You will need to create a new account. You will receive test results administered at this site through the CIC’s system.
  • The testing site is at 295 Third Street
  • Appointments will be released at 12:00 p.m. each Monday for Saturday testing.
  • Questions should be directed to CIC’s Customer Service Team at support@cic-health.com or 877-280-2937.

 

Walk-In Cambridge COVID-19 Testing Sites

  • Monday: 4:00 – 8:00 PM at the CambridgeSide mall 
  • Wednesday: 2:00 – 6:00 PM at 2254 Massachusetts Ave, St. John the Evangelist Church 
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM at the CambridgeSide mall
  • Sunday: 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM at 50 Church Street

 

As of November 1, the testing site at the CambridgeSide mall has returned to walk-in testing inside the mall. Learn more at cambridgema.gov/covid19/testing.

 

There will be no testing on the following dates due to the holidays:

  • Thursday, December 23, 2021
  • Saturday, December 25, 2021
  • Thursday, December 30, 2021
  • Saturday, January 1, 2022

 

State COVID-19 Testing

To find a COVID-19 testing site in Massachusetts, visit mass.gov/info-details/find-a-covid-19-test.

 

State Updates

 

Omicron Variant Delays Announcement On Mass. School Mask Mandate

K-12 education commissioner Jeffrey Riley said Friday he wants to give the medical community more time to get a handle on the situation before deciding whether to again extend the school mask mandate. Learn more: https://ihr.fm/3E5OMkC

 

2.1 Million At-Home COVID Tests for 102 High-Need Communities

On December 13, the Governor’s Administration announced 2.1 million iHealth Labs over-the-counter (OTC) at-home rapid antigen tests will be delivered to 102 towns with the highest percentage of families below the poverty level. These free tests will be available for distribution to the public by each municipality, with an emphasis on increasing access for individuals and families who are facing financial hardship. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3E8eTaq

 

National Updates

 

CDC recommends Pfizer, Moderna vaccines over J&J’s

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines to make clear that shots made by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech are preferred over Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. Learn more: https://cnn.it/3IYWUao

 

CDC endorses schools’ coronavirus ‘test-to-stay’ policies 

The CDC has endorsed “test-to-stay” policies that allow close contacts of students infected with the coronavirus to remain in classrooms if they test negative. It announced that test-to-stay programs and quarantining approaches are both equally good options for schools. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3yDWaCt

 

Pfizer study tests extra Covid vaccine dose for kids under 5

Today, Pfizer announced that it is changing its plans and  testing three doses of its Covid-19 vaccine in babies and preschoolers instead of the usual two after a preliminary analysis found two- to four-year-olds didn’t have as strong an immune response as expected to special low-dose shots. Learn more: https://cnb.cx/3J1faQo

 

Cambridge Updates

 

Cambridge Booster Clinic

The City of Cambridge is offering a COVID-19 vaccine clinic by appointment only on Monday, Dec. 20 from 4PM-8PM at the Cambridgeside Galleria for eligible people aged 18+ who live or work in Cambridge. Sign up here: https://t.co/lmBGqBTem4

 

CHA Vaccinating Kids 5+

COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 and older are available at the Cambridge Health Alliance Vaccine Center in Somerville (next to Target). Due to high demand, vaccines are by appointment only. Visit bit.ly/3q1r4me to make an appointment. Clinic hours for the CHA Somerville Vaccine Center: 

  • Monday & Tuesday: 11:00 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Thursday & Friday: 8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

 

Where to Get a COVID-19 Booster Shot 

This is a list of a few places that we are familiar with that are offering COVID-19 boosters in/near Cambridge for eligible MA residents: 

 

  • Cambridge Health Alliance (Appointments required)
    • 176 Somerville Ave, Somerville
    • Mon & Tues: 11:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.   
    • Wed, Thu, & Fri: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • To pre-register: 
  • CVS (Appointments required)
  • Star Market (Walk-ins or appointments)
    • 699 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge 
    • Schedule here: bit.ly/3uujXTv

 

MA Vaccination Updates

 

Vaccination Locations for Children Ages 5-11

  • Pharmacies: CVS and Walgreens locations
  • Mass General Brigham (for patients): covidvaccine.massgeneralbrigham.org/MA
  • Boston Children’s Hospital (for patients):  Schedule an appointment through the hospital’s MyChildren’s Patient Portal or call 617-919-7102.
  • Atrius Health (for patients): Parents can schedule an appointment directly through MyHealth Online or call their child’s doctor’s office.
  • Pediatricians’ Offices: Call your child’s doctor or nurse to determine vaccine availability.
  • To see all Massachusetts vaccine locations and make appointments, go to vaxfinder.mass.gov or VaxAbilities.com for children with sensory and/or other accommodation needs.

 

Mobile Vaccination Services

You can find hours and dates for mobile vaccination clinics at t.ly/qTMc. 

CHA Offering Walk-In Vaccinations

These sites are open to all Massachusetts residents age 12 and older: 

  • Cambridge Hospital
  • East Cambridge Care Center 
  • Malden Care Center

 

CHA is also offering “pop-up” vaccination clinics – information on hours and locations here: https://www.challiance.org/patients-visitors/covid-19-vaccine

 

Walk-In Vaccinations Available at CVS

Massachusetts residents age 12 and over can now get walk-in appointments at the 389 vaccine-carrying CVS locations across the Commonwealth. 

 

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. Information as of Thursday, December 16, 2021:

 

Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 96,011

Fully Vaccinated Residents: 81,963

 

 

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, December 17, 2021:

 

Total doses administered: 12,230,568

Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 14,290,440

 

 

Vaccination Appointment Resources

 

Resources for Booking and Getting to Your Appointment

  • Online: Visit vaxfinder.mass.gov/. You can also book directly with a pharmacy at cvs.com or walgreens.com.
  • 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.”
  • In-Home Vaccinations: Anyone who is unable to get to a vaccine location can call the Homebound Vaccination Central Intake Line at 833-983-0485 between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM Monday-Friday. Boosters are also available.

 

Booster Shots Available for Fully Vaccinated Adults

COVID-19 boosters are available for all fully vaccinated MA residents aged 16 years and older. Learn more at mass.gov/COVID19booster.

FAQs

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 

 

Massachusetts

Total Cases: 933,908

New Cases: 6345

Total Deaths: 19,406

New Tests: 113,092

 

Cambridge

Total Cases: 9408

New Cases: 135

Total Deaths: 126

 

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

 

Legislative Updates

 

Bills I have filed that are being heard next week

One of my bills has been scheduled for legislative hearings next week: An Act to increase family stabilization through the earned income tax credit. The hearing schedule is available at malegislature.gov, where hearings will be livestreamed and available for viewing after they conclude.  

 

Recent Press

 

Framingham extends school recess while state mandate languishes on Beacon Hill

Framingham’s School Committee has voted to double recess time for elementary school students next year to 30 minutes a day, even longer than the federal government recommends. In the last decade, at least eight states have passed laws to mandate recess for elementary schoolers. Massachusetts State Rep. Marjorie C. Decker introduced a bill in 2017 to require at least 20 minutes of recess for elementary school students, but it wasn’t enacted. Read more: https://www.wgbh.org/news/education/ 

 

Mental Health Services and Resources

 

If you or a loved one are struggling, please know that you are not alone. There are some great resources here: decker4rep.com/2021/mental-health-services-and-resources/.

 

Intimate Partner Abuse Prevention Helpline For MA residents

Thanks to COVID-19 relief funds from the CARES ACT, Massachusetts now has a Helpline that people can call for help rather than harming their partner. Open to any resident, the helpline is the first in the nation of its kind. This initiative is designed to prevent intimate partner violence by fostering accountability and change in people who harm or may harm their intimate partner. You can find more information at 10to10helpline.org or by calling 877-898-3411. 

 

Where to Give

 

If you are able to give to others during this time, I encourage you to look to places that are working to help those most affected by COVID-19: decker4rep.com/2021/places-that-are-working-to-help-those-most-affected-by-covid-19/.

 

I also encourage you to donate to the following organizations that are engaging in racial justice work: decker4rep.com/2021/organizations-that-are-engaging-in-racial-justice-work/.

 

As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.

 

Sincerely,  

Marjorie

Copyright 2018 Authorized and Paid for by The Friends of Marjorie Decker © All Rights Reserved