Monday March 15 COVID-19 Updates

Dear all,
I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources. I hope that you read my One Year of COVID-19 Updates newsletter over the weekend. I would like to add a very important thank you to Amanda Graff, the current Research Director for the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery, who put a great deal of time and effort into these newsletters while I chaired that Committee.
Federal Updates
Stimulus Payments Are on the Way
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is now sending the 2021 Economic Impact Payments in accordance with the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed into law on Thursday, March 11, 2021. Check when and how your 2021 payment was sent with the Get My Payment tool here.
Cambridge Updates
Cambridge Invested $11 Million in Homeless Community This Year
The City of Cambridge announced today that it has invested $11 million in additional funding to support homeless residents over the past year. Some actions the City has taken to protect these vulnerable individuals include: opening the War Memorial Emergency Shelter and the Transitional Wellness Center at Spaulding Hospital; funding meals from local restaurants for shelter and meals programs; paying for the First Church shelter to remain open all day; testing individuals for COVID-19. The City has administered a total of 632 first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals at Cambridge homeless shelters.
Voices for Justice featuring Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Cambridge Public Library (CPL) Foundation is hosting a Voices for Justice event series to support the CPL’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion initiatives. This virtual event features New York Times best-selling author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates in conversation with award-winning journalist Callie Crossley of GBH News Boston’s Under the Radar. The event will take place on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 7:30 PM on Zoom. For more information and to register, click 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.
Translation Resources Available
Multilingual city resources and information on COVID-19 are available on the City’s multilingual help page.
State Updates
Temporary Suspension of Operations at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA
The field hospital at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts is temporarily suspending operations as COVID-19 cases have been declining across the state. Officials will continue to monitor COVID-19 trends across the state to decide whether to resume operations or close the field hospital. Read more here.
MA Vaccination Updates
There are no updates today.
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 info@eldercare.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
The Department of Public Health is now publishing a Daily COVID-19 Vaccine Report in addition to its Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Report. Information as of Monday, March 15, 2021:
Total doses administered: 2,522,847
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 2,835,270
Vaccination Timeline
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.
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: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccine-frequently-asked-questions. Questions can be submitted to COVID-19-Vaccine-Plan-MA@mass.gov.
Today’s Case Count
Total Cases: 569,620
New Cases: 1,004
Total Deaths: 16,339
Tests Today: 28
Total Cases: 5,128
New Cases: 11
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.
Baker Press Conference Updates
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today. You can watch the Governor’s latest COVID-19 updates here.
Cambridge COVID Testing Sites
Mental Health Services and Resources
How the Pandemic has Impacted Teen Mental Health
In 2021, the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health asked a national sample of parents about the emotional toll that the pandemic has had on their teenagers. Around half of parents, 46%, say that they have noticed a new or worsening mental health condition for their teen since the start of the pandemic. Learn more about mental health conditions among teens and ways to support these individuals here.
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:
I also encourage you to donate to the following 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

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