Friday, October 8 COVID-19 & Legislative Updates

Dear all,

 

I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources as well as recent legislative news. 

 

Stay tuned for information about an upcoming joint oversight hearing held by the Public Health, Education, and COVID-19 Committees on the subject of kids and COVID-19 vaccines, testing and more on October 21, 2021. 

 

Table of Contents

  • Cambridge COVID Testing
  • State Updates
  • Nationwide 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

 

As of Monday, October 4, 2021, the COVID-19 testing location at CambridgeSide mall has transitioned back to a drive-through only testing site. Those arriving on foot or by bicycle will not be allowed. 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.

 

State Updates

 

MIAA Recommends Vaccination for Student Athletes

The Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) has overwhelmingly approved a recommendation made by the Sports Medicine Committee to recommend that high school student-athletes get vaccinated against COVID. Read more at t.ly/kYUF.

 

Amherst Mandates Vaccines in Public Schools

The Amherst Board of Health approved a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all eligible students attending public school in the district, the first Massachusetts district to do so. The vaccination rate of eligible students and school staff is currently over 80%. Read more at t.ly/fYuR. 

 

Extension of School Mask Mandate Through October

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeff Riley has announced that masks will remain required in Massachusetts public schools until at least November 1st. Learn more here: https://wbur.fm/3uuEhEm

 

COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave program extended

Governor Baker has approved an extension of the emergency paid sick leave program until April 1st. The program was first authorized under a law passed in May with the intention of giving workers time to quarantine, recover, get vaccinated, or help a family member dealing with the coronavirus. Learn more here: https://wbur.fm/2ZQB6LZ

 

National Updates

 

Pfizer Officially Requests FDA Approval for Vaccines for Kids 5-11

Pfizer and BioNTech have submitted a formal request to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize the use of their COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. The FDA will meet with an independent advisory committee for October 26 to discuss the request. Read more at t.ly/0FEw. 

 

Biden Administration Working to Make Rapid At-Home Tests More Widely Available

The Biden Administration is allocating an additional $1 billion to purchase rapid at-home COVID-19 tests, following a $2 billion allocation in September. The tests will be supplied to community health centers, food banks, and schools. In addition, the FDA recently issued an emergency use authorization for the ACON Laboratories Flowflex COVID-19 Home Test, an over-the-counter rapid antigen test that will retail for $10. Read more at t.ly/nH5v. ​​

 

California will require all schoolchildren to get COVID-19 vaccination

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced that California will require all elementary through high school students to get the COVID-19 vaccine once the vaccine gains final approval from the U.S. government for different age groups. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3A7eGTe

 

Cambridge Updates

 

Cambridge School Vaccine Mandate

As of November 22, 2021, all eligible students in Cambridge Public Schools must be vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, students who are eligible but unvaccinated will not be allowed to participate in after-school extracurricular activities as of November 29. Read more at https://www.cpsd.us/studentvax

 

I’m so proud of and thankful for the Cambridge School Committee members for showing the courage to lead in the absence of state-level guidance. 

 

Where to Get a Pfizer COVID-19 Booster Shot 

COVID-19 boosters are available for eligible MA residents who got the Pfizer vaccine. You’re eligible if: You’re 65+, age 18-64 & at risk for severe COVID due to certain medical conditions , or age 18-64 & at increased risk for COVID because of occupational/institutional settings. You can get a booster shot at the following locations in/near Cambridge: 

 

  • Star Market (Walk-ins or appointments)

Flu Clinics (plus COVID Vaccines) Scheduled for October

Residents are encouraged to register two weeks ahead of time. Walk-ins are also welcome. No charge, but bring your insurance card. CPHD will also be offering free Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines at the clinics. This will include first and second doses of the vaccine as well as booster shots. Learn more at cambridgepublichealth.org/flu. 

  • Friday, October 15, 2021
    • Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Ave
    • 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Saturday, October 16, 2021
    • King Open School, 850 Cambridge St
    • 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Friday, October 22, 2021
    • Reservoir Church, 170 Rindge Ave
    • 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Saturday, October 23, 2021
    • Pisani Center, 131 Washington St
    • 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM

 

Cambridge Food Resource Guide 

An updated guide of food pantries, free meal programs & more in Cambridge is now available. Learn more: bit.ly/cambfoodguide

 

Danehy Park Family Day

The City of Cambridge will host Danehy Park Family Day on Saturday, October 16, from 11AM – 3PM. Enjoy a fun-filled day of children’s amusement rides, arts and crafts, music and roving performers, plus snacks, T-shirts, and colorful kites. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3Bpauzj

 

Upcoming Affordable Housing Information Sessions

The City of Cambridge is offering information sessions about its affordable rental and homeownership programs. Attendees will learn about the eligibility requirements and application process for Cambridge Rental and Homeownership Programs. The next sessions are:

  • Affordable Housing Information Sessions Monday, October 18
    • 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Rental Programs
    • 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Homeowner Programs
    • Register at t.ly/cEUT. 

Learn more: https://www.cambridgema.gov/news/2021/08/cambridgeaffordablehousing

 

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 7, 2021:

 

Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 85,303

Fully Vaccinated Residents: 77,175

 

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, October 8, 2021:

 

Total doses administered: 9,683,074

Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 11,074,880

 

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. 

 

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.

FAQs

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 

 

Massachusetts

Total Cases: 768,466

New Cases: 1,583

Total Deaths: 18,358

New tests: 115,392

 

Cambridge

Total Cases: 7,489

New Cases: 13

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.  

 

For Harvard University COVID-19 information, click here. For MIT COVID-19 information, click here

 

Legislative Updates

 

Bills I have filed that are being heard next week

Several of my bills are scheduled for public hearings next week, including An Act providing upstream homelessness prevention assistance to families, youth, and adults; An Act relative to access for justice; and An Act improving emergency housing assistance for children and families experiencing homelessness. The hearing schedule is available at malegislature.gov, where hearings will be livestreamed and available for viewing after they conclude.  

 

Recent Press

 

State lawmakers launch Better Bottle Bill campaign in Massachusetts. – Waste Today  

by Alex Kamczyc

“Massachusetts state Rep. Marjorie Decker, Sen. Cynthia Creem, and other local lawmakers recently launched a campaign to modernize the state’s container deposit law. The goal is to expand what bottles can be deposited under the existing bottle bill, which was first introduced in 1982.” For more information, please visit https://bit.ly/3DnHUyW

 

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 Now Open to all 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.

 

Sincerely,  

Marjorie

Copyright 2018 Authorized and Paid for by The Friends of Marjorie Decker © All Rights Reserved