I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
Cambridge Lifting COVID Restrictions May 29, Ending Eviction Moratorium June 15
The City of Cambridge will follow the same reopening schedule as the state and lift its remaining COVID-19 restrictions on May 29, 2021, then rescind the City’s state of emergency on June 15, 2021. The City’s eviction moratorium will end on June 15 as a result. At this time, the City's Chief Public Health Officer recommends that masks continue to be worn during youth sports. Read more at https://bit.ly/3bIbgN2.
Spanish Info Session on COVID-19 Vaccines Next Thursday, May 27
The Cambridge Health Alliance is holding a COVID-19 vaccine information session for the Cambridge Spanish-speaking community on Thursday, May 27, 2021 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM in partnership with the Cambridge Public Health Department, Cambridge Public Library, the Cambridge Department of Human Service Programs, and the Cambridge Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship. Learn more and register at https://buff.ly/3bGI4Gm.
Youth Sports Mask Mandate In Place Until May 29
The City of Cambridge has not yet lifted the mask mandate for youth sports. Children playing outdoor sports will be required to wear masks until the statewide mandate lifts on May 29, 2021.
Cambridge Vaccine Clinic May 23
The City of Cambridge is holding a vaccine clinic on Sunday, May 23, 2021 from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the CambridgeSide Mall. It’s free and open to anyone age 18 who lives or works in Cambridge. No appointment, insurance, or photo ID required. They are using the J&J vaccine, so you only need one shot.
Cambridge Arts for Health Grant Opportunity: Info Session May 25
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council and Cambridge Public Health Department released a Call for Art today with an opportunity to apply for grants from $1,000 to $4,000. Artists are invited to propose creative frameworks for community engagement around public health. The call is open to all US residents aged 18 and up, but current or former residents of Cambridge are strongly encouraged to apply. There will be an info session on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 3:00 PM. Go to https://bit.ly/3bHzWVU to learn more, register for the info session, or submit questions.
Student Vaccine Clinic May 26 and June 16
The Cambridge Public Health Department and Cambridge Public Schools are holding a dedicated vaccine clinic for CPS students age 12 and older on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 (first dose) and Wednesday, June 16, 2021 (second dose) at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. Read more and register at https://www.cpsd.us/vaccine.
Virtual Info Session on Affordable Apartments May 26
There will be an informational meeting on the rental application and lottery for affordable units at Squirrelwood Apartments next Tuesday, May 25 at 6:00 PM. The application deadline is Friday, June 11, 2021 at 3:00 PM. For more information and the meeting link, go to https://t.co/7A4yHIji2t?amp=1.
This Week: CPL Hosting Anti-Racism & Social Justice Series
The Cambridge Public Library is hosting a series of virtual events this week, May 17-21, 2021, for young people and their families to combat racism and promote social justice. The program, called “Standing Up Together,” features stories, workshops, and music. Learn more and register here.
Fuel Assistance Program Accepting Applications Until Friday, 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.
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.
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.
Vaccine Preregistration System Closing May 31
The state’s vaccine preregistration system at mass.gov/COVIDvaccine will no longer take new submissions beginning Tuesday, May 25, 2021 and will close on Monday, May 31, 2021. After May 31, appointments will continue to be available using vaxfinder.mass.gov. Walk-ins will also continue to be available.
Homebound Vaccination Program Expanding May 24
Beginning May 24, 2021, the homebound vaccination program will be expanded to include any individual who has trouble getting to a vaccine site. Individuals who register for the homebound vaccination program will be contacted within 5 business days to schedule an appointment. The Homebound Program is primarily using Johnson & Johnson vaccines, but Pfizer vaccines are available for individuals 12-17 who are homebound. The Homebound Program Central Intake Line is 1-833-983-0485 and operates Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Nationwide and Federal Updates
Over 160 Million Have Received a Vaccine Nationwide
According to CDC data, 160.2 million people in the US — 48.2% of the country’s population — have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. More than 126.6 million people, or 38.1% of the US population, have been fully vaccinated. A larger share of the white population has been vaccinated compared with Hispanic, Asian or Black populations. Read more at https://wapo.st/3u8S1CT.
MA Vaccination Updates
CHA Offering Walk-In Vaccinations
The Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) is offering walk-in vaccinations at its three sites (176 Somerville Ave. in Somerville, Encore Boston Harbor in Everett and Tufts University in Medford, see https://bit.ly/3eM3TGF for locations and hours). These sites are open to all Massachusetts residents age 12 and older. They encourage people to pre-register here or via MyCHArt (for CHA patients), but walk-ins are welcome. As a reminder, only the Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for use in people under 18 years old, and minors must have a consent form signed by their parent or guardian.
Walk-In Vaccinations Available at Mass Vax Sites & CVS
Massachusetts residents age 12 and over can now get COVID-19 vaccines at all seven mass vaccination sites. People can still make appointments or see walk-in information at vaxfinder.mass.gov. Walk-in appointments are also available at the 389 vaccine-carrying CVS locations across the Commonwealth. Read more here.
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, May 20, 2021:
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 75,648
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 58,462
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, May 21, 2021:
Total doses administered: 7,434,103
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 8,791,700
Vaccination Appointment Resources
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 until May 25, 2021. 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!
Massachusetts is currently in Phase Three of the vaccine rollout. Everyone age 12 and older is eligible for a vaccine. 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.
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today. You can watch the Governor's latest updates here.
Today’s Case Count
Total Cases: 658,841
New Cases: 400
Total Deaths: 17,453
Total Cases: 6,228
New Cases: 2
Total Deaths: 123
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:
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 currently open to any resident of western Massachusetts, however they plan to expand to more residents within the Commonwealth. This helpline is the first in the nation of its kind, and is based out of Western Massachusetts. You can find more information here.
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.