COVID Restrictions and State of Emergency Ending Soon
Governor Baker held a press conference today to discuss updates to the state’s reopening plan. The Governor announced that all remaining COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted effective May 29, 2021 and that the State of emergency will end June 15, 2021. May 29, 2021 will also mark a change in the Commonwealth’s face covering requirements consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance. The Governor urged residents to respect the right of businesses to require masks on their premises. You can watch the Governor’s latest updates here.
No Masks for Youth Sports Starting Tomorrow, State Mask Mandate Lifts May 29
As of tomorrow, May 18, 2021, kids under 18 will no longer have to wear masks while playing outdoor sports. Effective May 29, 2021, the state’s face covering advisory will shift to reflect the recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. Face coverings will be optional for fully vaccinated people in most settings, with exceptions including early education and K-12 schools, public and shared private transportation, and hospitals and healthcare facilities. Fully vaccinated people will still have to wear masks if businesses require them. Read more at mass.gov/maskrules.
COVID Restrictions Lifting Effective May 29 & State of Emergency Ends June 15
The Baker Administration announced today that all remaining COVID-19 restrictions, including capacity limits, will be lifted effective May 29, 2021. On June 15, 2021, the State of Emergency in Massachusetts will end. Read more at mass.gov/reopening.
Today, May 17, 2021, was opening day of the Central Square Farmers Market. The market is open Mondays from 12:00 to 6:00 PM at 76 Bishop Allen Drive. A $15 match is available to all SNAP shoppers. Read more at http://bit.ly/3fUMPfN.
CHA Holding Haitian Creole Vaccine Forum May 19
The Cambridge Health Alliance is holding a Haitian Creole forum on COVID-19 vaccines in partnership with the Cambridge Health Department, the Cambridge Department of Human Services, the Cambridge Public Library and the Cambridge Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship this Wednesday, May 19, 2021, from 6:00 to 7:00 PM. Read more here: https://buff.ly/2Qcp1fv.
Starlight Square Reopening this Wednesday
The Central Square Business Improvement District is holding a season two preview for the reopening of Starlight Square this Wednesday, May 19, 2021 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM. You can RSVP here. Capacity is limited to 150, so if you are interested in attending, please RSVP soon.
This Week: CPL Hosting Anti-Racism & Social Justice Series
The Cambridge Public Library is hosting a series of virtual events this week, May 17-21, 2021, for young people and their families to combat racism and promote social justice. The program, called “Standing Up Together,” features stories, workshops, and music. Learn more and register here.
Fuel Assistance Program Accepting Applications Until Friday, May 28
Beginning in July 2021, the utility payment moratorium will end. If you need assistance paying your heating bills, the Fuel Assistance Program is accepting applications through Friday, May 28, 2021. 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.
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.
Studies Testing Efficacy of Pfizer Vaccines in Kids 5 and Under
An ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial is testing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in 144 children ages 5 and younger. Scientists will study these participants for the next two years in addition to expanding the trials to thousands of children over time. Pfizer is planning to apply for an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration in September for children ages 2 to 11. Moderna is also conducting clinical trials for young children. Read more at t.ly/s4wK.
US Sending Additional 20 Million Vaccines Abroad
The Biden Administration announced today that it will send an additional 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to other countries. President Biden had previously committed to sharing 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in June, once it had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Read more at t.ly/lGrC.
MA Vaccination Updates
State on Track to Vaccinate 4 Million by June
Massachusetts is likely to meet its goal of fully vaccinating 4 million residents by June 2021. As of this past weekend, over 3.2 million people have been vaccinated in the Commonwealth.
CHA Offering Walk-In Vaccinations
The Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) is offering walk-in vaccinations at its three sites (176 Somerville Ave. in Somerville, Encore Boston Harbor in Everett and Tufts University in Medford, see https://bit.ly/3eM3TGF for locations and hours). These sites are open to all Massachusetts residents age 12 and older. They encourage people to pre-register here or via MyCHArt (for CHA patients), but walk-ins are welcome. Read more here. As a reminder, only the Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for use in people under 18 years old, and minors must have a consent form signed by their parent or guardian.
Walk-In Vaccinations Available at Mass Vax Sites & CVS
Massachusetts residents age 12 and over can now get COVID-19 vaccines at all seven mass vaccination sites. People can still make appointments or see walk-in information at vaxfinder.mass.gov. Walk-in appointments are also available at the 389 vaccine-carrying CVS locations across the Commonwealth. Read more here.
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 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!
Massachusetts is currently in Phase Three of the vaccine rollout. Everyone age 12 and older is eligible for a vaccine. For more details and updates on vaccination priorities, please visit mass.gov/CovidVaccine.
If you or a loved one are struggling, please know that you are not alone. Here are some great resources:
Helpline for People Who Abuse
There is a new Helpline for People Who Abuse that launched on April 15, 2021, that came out of CARES ACT funding for COVID-19. The Helpline is currently open to any resident of western Massachusetts, however they plan to expand to more residents within the Commonwealth. This helpline is the first in the nation of its kind, and is based out of Western Massachusetts. You can find more information here.
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.”