I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources as well as recent legislative news.
Appointment to Commission to study poverty
I'm honored that Speaker Mariano has appointed me to co-chair the special legislative commission to study poverty in the Commonwealth established by Chapter 74 of the Acts of 2021. This commission is charged with investigating, developing and recommending methods and strategies for reducing poverty and expanding opportunity for people with low incomes. As you likely know, this goal is close to my heart and has fueled my career. I look forward to getting the important work of the commission underway.
CDC Recommends Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine for Children 5-11 Years
On Tuesday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle P. Walensky endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendation that children 5 to 11 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine. CDC now expands vaccine recommendations to about 28 million children in the United States in this age group and allows providers to begin vaccinating them as soon as possible. Learn more at https://bit.ly/2YmFeD2.
Table of Contents
- COVID-19 Testing Information
- Cambridge Updates
- State Updates
- National Updates
- MA Vaccination Updates
- Today’s Case Count
- Legislative Updates
- Mental Health Services and Resources
- Where to Give
COVID-19 Testing Information
Cambridge COVID-19 Testing
- 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 Monday, Nov. 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.
CHA Will Start Vaccinating Kids 5+ on Monday
Starting Monday, November 8, COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 and older will be available at the Cambridge Health Alliance Vaccine Center in Somerville (next to Target). Walk-ins are welcome and you don’t need to be a CHA patient. Visit bit.ly/3q1r4me to learn more. 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.
COVID Vaccine Clinics at King Open School 11/10 and 12/1
Students, families, and the community are invited to get their free Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot on Wednesday, Nov. 10 and Wednesday, Dec. 1 from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the King Open School located at 850 Cambridge Street. Flu vaccines, including FluMist and high-dose vaccines, will also be offered. Nurses will be available to speak with anyone who has COVID-19 or flu vaccine questions. Read more: https://bit.ly/3Bry7Xe
CRLS Students Say “Cool People Get Vaccinated”
Hoping to inspire their peers, students at Cambridge Rindge and Latin talk about why they got vaccinated against COVID-19 in a PSA titled “Cool People Get Vaccinated.” Watch it at bit.ly/31nn6tJ.
Where to Get a Pfizer COVID-19 Booster Shot
COVID-19 boosters are available at the following locations in/near Cambridge for eligible MA residents who got the Pfizer vaccine:
- Cambridge Health Alliance (Walk-ins or appointments)
- CVS (Appointments required)
- 624 Mass. Ave (Central Square)
- Schedule here: https://bit.ly/3mgBACv.
- Star Market (Walk-ins or appointments)
- 699 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge
- Schedule here: https://bit.ly/3uujXTv.
- Search by zip-code for other locations https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/
COVID-19 Vaccines Available for Children Ages 5-11 in MA
The Baker Administration announced yesterday that COVID-19 vaccination appointments for children ages 5-11 are available at over 500 locations in Massachusetts. Parents and guardians can search for nearby locations at vaxfinder.mass.gov, which has been updated to include a filter for pediatric vaccines. Several locations such as the Discovery Museum in Acton, Boston’s Museum of Science, Springfield Museum, EcoTarium Museum, and others will be holding vaccine clinics for children ages 5-11. Learn more at https://bit.ly/3k7RXRA.
National Vaccine Mandate for Over 100 Million Employees
The Biden Administration announced this week that companies with 100 or more employees must ensure that their workers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 4, 2022, or that they test negative for COVID at least once a week. In addition, health care workers at facilities that receive federal funding from Medicare or Medicaid must be vaccinated by the same deadline, without an option for weekly testing as an alternative. Learn more at https://n.pr/3CPBSrb.
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): Atrius Health will start scheduling vaccination appointments for children on November 12. Vaccination clinics will begin on Monday, November 15. Beginning November 12, 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.
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:
- 176 Somerville Ave
- 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, November 4, 2021:
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 87,855
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 78,058
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
Total doses administered: 10,333,558
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 12,221,210
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 Shot Eligibility
COVID-19 boosters are available for eligible MA residents who got the Pfizer vaccine. See if you’re eligible to receive one on the graphic below, and learn more here: https://bit.ly/3mkHVg6.
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: 803,165
New Cases: 1,598
Total Deaths: 18,689
New Tests: 98,364
Total Cases: 7,848
New Cases: 32
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 I have filed that are being heard next week
Four of my bills are scheduled for a public hearing next week: An act relative to creating a universal consent process to share sensitive health information between healthcare providers, An Act relative to determining the best interest of children in probate & family court, An Act establishing plastic pollution action day in the commonwealth, and An Act advancing health care research and decision-making centered on patients and people with disabilities. The hearing schedule is available at malegislature.gov, where hearings will be livestreamed and available for viewing after they conclude.
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.