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 Starting Dec. 4
- 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
- Testing on December 4 is limited to 300 appointments.
- Questions should be directed to CIC’s Customer Service Team at email@example.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 https://www.cambridgema.gov/covid19/testing.
State COVID-19 Testing
To find a COVID-19 testing site in Massachusetts, visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/find-a-covid-19-test.
New Mobile COVID-19 Treatment Sites
The Baker Administration has established three mobile units where residents can receive monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19. The units are located in Everett, Fall River, and Holyoke, and will be available to high-risk individuals who have or have been exposed to COVID-19. Learn more at bit.ly/3IiRRBi.
Mask Mandate for Indoor Winter Sports
On November 23, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association announced that masks will be required for winter indoor sports, including basketball, hockey, cheerleading, and more. DESE will reassess mask guidance on January 15, 2021. Learn more at cbsloc.al/3pmdYOx.
Insurance Will Cover At-Home COVID-19 Tests
President Biden announced this week that private health insurance plans will soon reimburse people for over-the-counter, at-home rapid COVID-19 tests. The Administration’s plan to fight coronavirus this winter also includes widespread vaccinations and boosters. Learn more at n.pr/3Dv3WQh.
CDC Tightens Testing Requirement for International Travelers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that beginning December 6, 2021, all air travelers, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, will be required to show a negative pre-departure COVID-19 viral test taken the day before they board their flight to the United States. The CDC continues to recommend that all travelers get a viral test 3-5 days after arrival, and that unvaccinated travelers should quarantine for 7 days after arrival. Learn more at bit.ly/3ryhszX.
Cambridge Expanding Free COVID-19 Testing to 5 Days Per Week
The City of Cambridge announced today that beginning tomorrow, December 4, it is expanding its free COVID-19 testing program to five days per week. The City will launch an appointment-only testing site by offering 300 appointments on Saturdays from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM at 295 Third Street. To schedule an appointment, visit cic-health.com/cambridge.
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 (Due to high demand, vaccines are by appointment only.)
- CVS (Appointments required)
- 624 Mass. Ave (Central Square)
- Schedule here: bit.ly/3mgBACv.
- Star Market (Walk-ins or appointments)
- 699 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge
- Schedule here: bit.ly/3uujXTv.
- Search by zip-code for other locations https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/
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 2, 2021:
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 94,720
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 79,354
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
Total doses administered: 11,448,814
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 13,423,900
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 18 years and older. Learn more at mass.gov/COVID19booster.
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: 870,629
New Cases: 5,179
Total Deaths: 19,074
New Tests: 129,910
Total Cases: 8,554
New Cases: 90
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.
Bills that I have filed are moving forward
Over the last week, a number of my bills were reported out of committee. I’m thankful that these pieces of legislation will be moving to the next step of the legislative process.
- An Act relative to health insurance for surviving spouses was reported favorably from the Joint Committee on Public Service. This bill would allow surviving spouses to remain on their former spouse’s insurance even if they remarry.
- An Act to promote public safety and certainty related to child deaths was reported from the Joint Committee on Public Health. This bill would ensure that the Chief Medical Examiner would certify the results of any autopsy conducted in their office with regards to children under the age of two.
- An Act to improve access to breastfeeding care was reported out favorably from the Joint Committee on Public Health. This bill would license lactation consultants who hold the national credential of the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Licensure of IBCLCs is needed to enable individuals in our state to use their insurance to pay for specialized lactation care & services.
- An Act to improve access to emergency contraception was reported favorably by the Joint Committee on Public Health. This bill would create a statewide standing order for emergency contraception and eliminate the statutory training requirement for dispensing emergency contraception.
- An Act to restrict the use of polystyrene was reported favorably by the Joint Committee on Public Health. This bill would prohibit food establishments from dispensing food to customers in disposable food service containers made from expanded polystyrene.
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.