I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources. I would also like to acknowledge the tragic loss of a recent CRLS graduate over the weekend. For families who may be looking for support talking with their child about this news, you might find this resource from Riverside Trauma Center and Samaritans helpful: Talking with Your Children About Traumatic Events. Riverside also offers 24-hour assistance; call 1-888-851-2451 and select option #2 to be connected to a Trauma Center Manager. School leaders in Cambridge will also be coordinating support.
Pooled Testing Shows Low COVID-19 Positivity Rate in Schools
According to the Baker Administration, students and staff in schools enrolled in the state’s COVID-19 pooled testing initiative have shown a pool positivity rate of 0.76 percent to date. The initiative was launched in February and will be funded through the end of the school year rather than the initial expiration date of April 18, 2021. More than 1,000 schools are enrolled in the initiative and nearly 159,000 individuals have been tested. Read more here.
CDC Finds Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Vaccines to be Highly Effective in a Study of Real-Life Conditions
The CDC has found that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines reduced risk of infection by 80% after one dose and by 90% after the second dose in a study of about 4,000 health-care personnel, police, firefighters and other essential workers.
MA Vaccination Updates
State Homebound Vaccination Program Starts Today
In-home vaccinations are now available for people across Massachusetts who are not able to leave their home to get to a vaccination site, even with assistance. Eligible residents or their family/caregivers can call the Homebound Vaccination Central Intake Line at (833) 983-0485. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Representatives are available in both English and Spanish, and also have access to translators for over 100 languages. Read more here.
Resources for Booking and Getting to Your Appointment
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.
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!
The Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House (MFNH) is partnering with local pop-up restaurateur and chef Charles Isadore for a virtual cooking class on Friday, April 23, 2021 at 6:00 PM. Tickets are $35 and include a full cooking class with a vegetarian-friendly pasta dish. Proceeds directly support the MFNH food pantry. Learn more and buy tickets here.
Cambridge 2020 Parking Permits Extended
2020 Resident and Visitor Parking Permits have been extended and will be valid through May 31, 2021. If you need to submit a 2021 renewal application, you should allow 5-7 weeks for delivery.
Virtual Candidate Forums for Interim Superintendent Finalists
The Cambridge School Committee is hosting Virtual Candidate Forums between 5:00 and 8:00 PM this Thursday, April 8, 2021 for the three finalists for the position of Interim Superintendent of Schools. Panels of students, family representatives, and educational staff will ask questions of the finalists. Members of the community can watch the forums live via Zoom. 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.
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.”