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
- Today’s Case Count
- Legislative Updates
- Recent Press
- 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
Starting Monday, Nov. 1, the testing site at the CambridgeSide mall will return to walk-in testing inside the mall. On Wednesday, Nov. 3, there will be NO testing at St. John the Evangelist Church due to construction. 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.
School Mask Mandate Extended Through January 15
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced Tuesday that students, teachers and staff in public schools will be required to wear masks through at least January 15, 2022. Schools may still apply to have the mandate lifted if their vaccination rate is at least 80 percent. Learn more at t.ly/3eqb.
While this is good news, it is not surprising. My colleagues and I held an oversight hearing last week where experts, including those who advise Governor Baker, clearly stated that now is not the time to play red light, green light on masks. We still need to mandate vaccines for school staff and get kids 5-11 vaccinated.
FDA Authorizes Pfizer’s COVID Vaccine for Kids 5-11
The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized emergency use for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5-11 years old. The next step is Tuesday’s meeting of a CDC advisory panel. Read more at t.ly/bL77.
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 vaccine, 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
City of Cambridge tips for staying safe on Halloween
The Cambridge Public Health Department has put together a list of safe ways to celebrate Halloween this year, and is discouraging indoor parties with people who do not live in your household. You can find the list here: https://bit.ly/3lLDxIi.
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/
Laundry Access in Public Schools Project
Laundry Access in Public Schools ($50,000) has been completed and installed at CRLS and Cambridge Street Upper School. Washers and dryers are available for students who do not have easy access to laundry services. As of October 2021, students at CRLS and CSUS can now access these new laundry units. Read more: https://pb.cambridgema.gov/pb6_laundry
Grants deadline extended
Cambridge Arts Council is offering 3 funding opportunities totaling $300,000 through the Local Cultural Council Grants, Art for Social Justice Grants, and Organizational Investment Grants. The new deadline is November 1. Read more: https://bit.ly/3pKGwmB
Cambridge Food Resource Guide
An updated guide of food pantries, free meal programs & more in Cambridge is now available. Learn more: bit.ly/cambfoodguide
MA Vaccination Updates
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, October 28, 2021:
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 86,813
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 77,9656
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
Total doses administered: 10,117,222
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 11,935,580
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: 794,382
New Cases: 1,245
Total Deaths: 18,601
New Tests: 90,034
Total Cases: 7,764
New Cases: 11
Total Deaths: 125
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
One of my bills is scheduled for a public hearing next week: An Act to ensure safety and transparency in pipeline repair. The hearing schedule is available at malegislature.gov, where hearings will be livestreamed and available for viewing after they conclude.
“As counties’ contracts with ICE dwindle, lawmakers’ bills try to clarify relationship” by Amy Sokolow, Boston Herald
Meanwhile, state Rep. Marjorie Decker, D-Cambridge, and Rep. Michael Day, D-Stoneham, filed a bill that would protect RMV data from being used for immigration enforcement, and would require informed consent for immigration enforcement-related questioning.
Decker said she filed the bill during the Trump administration, “when it was clear under Donald Trump’s presidency that due process and many other democratic principles and access to justice issues were being tossed aside” in favor of a tough on immigration stance, she said.
“This is about saying everybody deserves due process,” Decker added. “That is the absolute foundation of a democracy.” Read more: https://bit.ly/3vXQvpI.
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.