I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources. I would also like to wish a very Happy Pesach to those of you who are celebrating.
$100 Million in Federal Funding Going to Hard-Hit Communities
The Baker Administration announced yesterday that it will direct $100 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to Chelsea, Everett, Methuen and Randolph. Those communities have been among the hardest hit in the state but weren’t allocated as much direct funding from the American Rescue Plan Act as other municipalities were, due to their populations being under 50,000. Read more here.
Over 900 COVID Cases in MA Schools
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reported more than 900 new COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts schools last week. There had been 669 cases the previous week. Data published Thursday showed 682 new cases among students learning either in-person or through a hybrid model during the week from March 18-24, and 228 among district staff with building access. Read more here.
Boston to Get 1 of 3 New FEMA Mass Vax Sites
The Biden administration plans to launch a Community Vaccination Center in Boston by providing FEMA support at the current mass vaccination site at the Hynes Convention Center. The federal government will open mass vaccination sites in Boston, in Newark, New Jersey, and in Norfolk, Virginia. The Boston site will receive 6,000 additional doses per day starting on March 31. Together, the sites will be capable of administering 15,000 doses per day. Read more here.
MA Vaccination Updates
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 65+ 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
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 26,618 (24%)
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 16,172 (14%)
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
Total doses administered: 3,223,849
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 3,745,460
Massachusetts is currently in the middle 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: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccine-frequently-asked-questions. Questions can be submitted to COVID-19-Vaccine-Plan-MA@mass.gov.
Virtual Candidate Forums for Interim Superintendent Finalists
The Cambridge School Committee is hosting Virtual Candidate Forums between 5:00 and 8:00 PM on Thursday, April 8, 2021 for the three finalists for the position of Interim Superintendent of Schools. Panels of students, family representatives, and educational staff will ask questions of the finalists. Members of the community can watch the forums live via Zoom. 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.
Baker Press Conference Updates
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today. He did hold a bill signing ceremony for An Act creating a next-generation roadmap for Massachusetts climate policy into law this afternoon. You can watch it here.
Today’s Case Count
Total Cases: 588,599
New Cases: 2,301
Total Deaths: 16,711
Tests Today: 107,593
Total Cases: 5,402
New Cases: 32
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.