I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources. House budget week for Fiscal Year 2022 is here. The budgets we pass are a reflection of our values. My top priorities include anti-poverty, mental health, public health, substance use disorder and more. You can find a list of all amendments filed here. You may watch the debate live here.
Many of us have been watching the news from India in horror as COVID-19 cases skyrocket and hospitals are overwhelmed. Please consider donating to the Children in Need Institute at www.ciniusa.org to support their COVID relief efforts in India. CINI provides food, other necessities, and services directly to vulnerable families. I’m sharing this on behalf of CINI’s founder, Cambridge resident Dr. Gaurab Basu. You may know him through as an excellent doctor at Cambridge Health Alliance, but he also does incredible work around health, climate change, and racism.
Reminder: Vaccines Town Hall Next Thursday, April 29
Please join me, Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders, Dr. Bronwyn MacInnis, Director of the Infectious Disease and Microbiome Program at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, and Dr. Assaad Sayah, CEO of the Cambridge Health Alliance for a Town Hall meeting on Vaccines this Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 5:30 PM. You can register for a Zoom link here. The town hall will also air on CCTV’s Channel 9, cctvcambridge.org/channel09, cctvcambridge.org/youtube, and facebook.com/cctvcambridge.
Please send any questions you have on vaccines for the panelists to Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov ahead of the panel.
Resuming the Administration of the J&J Vaccine
The CDC announced on April 23, 2021 that they would resume use of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) notified all providers to inform them that they can resume the administration of the J&J vaccine immediately. Read more here.
$30.4 Million in New Grants to 602 Additional Businesses in MA
Last week, the Administration announced $30.4 million in new grants to 602 additional businesses across the Commonwealth through the small business relief program, which is administered by Mass Growth Capital. In total, the Administration has awarded more than $682 million in direct support to 15,004 businesses across the state. Read more here.
231 Million Doses Administered Across the US
More than 1.04 billion doses of COVID vaccine have been administered across 172 countries. Specifically, 231 million doses have been administered across the United States, which is an average of 2.74 million doses per day. Read more here. You can follow the CDC’s COVID data tracker here.
The Biden Administration is Expected to Share AstraZeneca Doses with Other Nations
The Biden Administration plans on sharing up to 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine with other nations, as long as the doses clear a safety review conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Read more here.
Fair Housing Month Virtual Panel Tomorrow, April 27
As April is Fair Housing Month, the city of Cambridge is hosting a virtual panel tomorrow, April 27, 2021 at 3 PM to learn about the rights and responsibilities individuals have as a tenant or landlord, as well discuss resources that are available in cases where discrimination has occurred. 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.
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 Friday, May 7, 2021. Read 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 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
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 56,260
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 30,629
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
Total doses administered: 5,740,185
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 6,652,360
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.
Baker Press Conference Updates
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today. You can watch the Governor’s latest updates here.
Today’s Case Count
Total Cases: 641,211
New Cases: 812
Total Deaths: 17,211
Tests Today: 42,169
Total Cases: 6,074
New Cases: 7
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.
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 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.