I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources. Thanks for your patience as we continue to tweak the daily email format. New information will be highlighted.
MA COVID-19 Recovery Bill Announced
Massachusetts state legislative leaders announced today that they have reached a deal on a COVID-19 recovery bill designed to help workers and employers. The bill includes measures around tax relief for certain unemployed workers, paid leave related to COVID-19 and vaccinations, relief from planned hikes in unemployment insurance rates, and waiving state taxes on Paycheck Protection Program grants. I am grateful to Speaker Ron Mariano and to House Ways and Means Committee Chair Aaron Michlewitz for their leadership in advancing this much-needed legislation. Read more here.
MA Vaccination Updates
Teachers Getting Vaccinated at CVS
According to CVS, 25,000 appointments were booked by educators in Massachusetts between Wednesday and Friday of last week. Read more here. CVS receives vaccines through a federal partnership; teachers will be eligible at state vaccination sites this Thursday, March 11, 2021.
Resources for Booking and Getting to Your Appointment
- Online: Go to vaxfinder.mass.gov/, or 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 65+ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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!
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
Total doses administered: 2,143,793
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 2,433,760
Massachusetts is currently in the middle of Phase Two 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: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccine-frequently-asked-questions. Questions can be submitted to COVID-19-Vaccine-Plan-MA@mass.gov.
CDC Guidelines for Fully Vaccinated People
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced guidelines today for people who have been fully vaccinated. According to the CDC, if you’ve been fully vaccinated, you can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask and with unvaccinated people from one other household without masks. Read more here.
Today’s Case Count
Total Cases: 559,975
New Cases: 892
Total Deaths: 16,103
Tests Today: 41,062
Total Cases: 4,994
New Cases: 5
Total Deaths: 121
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.
Affordable Housing Information Session
The Housing Division of the Community Development Department is presenting an information session on the City’s Affordable Rental and Home Ownership program tomorrow, March 9, 2021 from 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM. To learn more and to register, click here.
Winter Farmers Market in Central Square
The Central Square Winter Farmers Market is open Mondays from 12 PM to 4 PM now until Monday, April 19, 2021 at 76 Bishop Allen Drive. They accept SNAP, HIP, and P-EBT and offer a $15 SNAP match. Pre-ordering is available. Read more here.
Apply to Be Part of Starlight Square Season Two
The Starlight Square Steering Committee is now accepting applications for its Spring/Summer season. Anyone interested in organizing programming, performances or events can respond to the request for proposals here; applications are due by Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 11:59 PM. Read more here.
Cambridge Public Library Services – Remote Printing Now Available
In keeping with its efforts to bridge the gap in access to technology during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cambridge Public Library is now offering remote printing. Details are available on the library website at www.cambridgema.gov/cpl. For assistance, call 617-349-4040 or email email@example.com.
Translation Resources Available
Multilingual city resources and information on COVID-19 are available on the City’s multilingual help page.
Baker Press Conference Updates
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today. You can watch the Governor’s COVID-19 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:
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 Ave, 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.