I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources. I also want to wish all those who celebrate a Happy Mother’s Day!
Finally, I want to thank Emma Purtell, Communications Director for the Joint Committee on Public Health, for her work on this newsletter over the past few months. Emma's last day was today and we wish her the best of luck on her next adventure - in France!
MEMA & DPH Supplied 49 Million Pieces of PPE Across MA
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) have supplied over 49 million pieces of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to hospitals, first responders, nursing homes, state agencies, and more through a major logistics effort and many deliveries by the Massachusetts National Guard.
NE Colleges Requiring Students to get Vaccinated Against COVID-19
Many of the colleges in the New England area are requiring students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to campus in the fall. The Boston Globe shared an article on the matter, with information from both the schools and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
How the American Families Plan Will Impact MA
The American Families Plan is an investment in the Commonwealth’s children and families. It will help families cover the basic expenses that many struggle with now, lower health insurance premiums, and continue the American Rescue Plan’s reductions in child poverty. It will yield significant economic returns. Learn more here.
Building Pathways Building Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program; Recruiting for September 2021 Class
Building Pathways is a 200 hour pre-apprenticeship training program designed to prepare qualified individuals for an apprenticeship in the building trades and is recruiting for its September 2021 training cycle. Candidates must first attend an Information Session to learn more about career opportunities in the construction industry and the Building Pathways program, and to obtain an application. Learn more here.
Nationwide and Federal Updates
CDC Reports that COVID-19 Vaccines are Safe, Effective
The CDC states that the COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective. They have also shared that certain individuals have had no side effects to the vaccine. Most people have reported only mild side effects after COVID-19 vaccination. To learn about selected adverse events reported after COVID-19 vaccinations, click here.
COVID Vaccines and Kids
COVID vaccine eligibility expansions for younger teens and children are expected to occur soon. Everyone 16 years and older in the US is already eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, and anyone 18 years and older is eligible for Moderna or Johnson & Johnson.
Pfizer, which is currently conducting clinical trials with children as young as 6 months old, has said it will likely seek an emergency use authorization for its vaccine for children ages 2 to 11 in September. Moderna and J&J are both currently conducting clinical trials with children. Here is a great article by Nature to answer some questions on the subject.
Today, Friday, May 7 Deadline for Small Business Grants
An additional $600,000 in grants for Cambridge small businesses is available through the City’s Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund and the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority. Grant applications will be accepted until today, Friday, May 7, 2021 at 11:59 PM EDT. Read more here.
Reminder: National Small Business Week Webinars and Events in Cambridge
This week until tomorrow, May 8, 2021 is National Small Business Week. Throughout the week, join the Cambridge Community Development Department for webinars and other events to provide resources to local small businesses and entrepreneurs. Learn more 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.
MA Vaccination Updates
Vaccine Clinic in the City of Cambridge Open Tonight Until 8 PM
The City of Cambridge is offering upcoming vaccine clinics using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. These clinics are free and open to all individuals 18 years of age and older who live and work in Cambridge. Appointments aren’t needed and IDs aren’t required. Learn more here. Vaccine clinics locations and hours are as follows:
- Reservoir Church: 170 Rindge Avenue in North Cambridge on Friday, May 7, 2021, until 8 PM
Vaccine Eligibility Open to All Adults
All Massachusetts residents aged 16 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, people under the age of 18 can only receive the Pfizer vaccine and there are certain steps these individuals should take prior to scheduling their appointment. Learn more here.
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 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!
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 6, 2021:
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 65,530
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 35,987
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, 7, 2021:
Total doses administered: 6,594,462
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 7,823,920
Massachusetts is currently in Phase Three 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.
Today’s Case Count
Total Cases: 651,740
New Cases: 881
Total Deaths: 17,316
Tests Today: 78,071
Total Cases: 6,175
New Cases: 4
Total Deaths: 122
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.
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today. You can watch the Governor's latest updates 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.