I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources. Today I held my first virtual hearing as Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health. In today’s hearing we discussed matters related to Children’s Health. You can watch the hearing here.
Baker Press Conference Updates
Next Phase of Vaccination Efforts
The Administration shared that they will continue to adapt vaccine efforts to be more targeted, and will shift vaccines to smaller scale operations to focus on specific communities, like the 20 most disproportionately impacted communities across the Commonwealth. This phase of efforts will include:
Providing all 22 regional collaboratives with doses to fully operate their programs.
Doubling the state vaccine allocation for the 20 most disproportionately impacted communities.
Working with the Mass Medical Society to increase access of vaccines with additional primary care providers by mid-May.
Expanding mobile vaccine clinics in our 20 most disproportionately impacted communities at senior centers, houses of worship & other community organizations.
Working with current providers & community partners to offer new vaccine clinic opportunities.
The Administration will also begin to transition or ramp down the state’s 7 mass vaccination sites. 4/7 mass vaccination sites will close by the end of June.
Walk-ins will soon be accepted at select mass vaccination sites.
In the coming weeks, the state is anticipating that the CDC may authorize vaccines for children ages 12-15 and will keep pre-registration available for parents who may want to bring kids to a mass vaccination site.
Massachusetts Set to Vaccinate 4.1 million People by the Beginning of June
According to the CDC’s vaccine data, 3.9 million people across the Commonwealth have been fully or partially vaccinated as of today, May 3, 2021, and 180,000 people are scheduled to get their first dose within the next week. Altogether, 4.1 million individuals will be fully vaccinated in Massachusetts by the beginning of June 2021.
Virtual Hearing for Residents of the 5th Congressional District (CD5)
The Special Joint Committee on Redistricting will hold a virtual hearing for residents of the 5th Congressional District (CD5) on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 5 PM. This hearing provides an opportunity for area residents to offer their opinions on local and community interests that the Committee should consider on the division of the Commonwealth into 9 Congressional Districts, 40 Senatorial Districts, 160 Representative Districts, and 8 Councillor Districts. If you would like to testify please complete the sign up form by clicking here. Learn more here.
Reminder: 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 open to any resident of the Commonwealth, it is the first in the nation of its kind, and is based out of Western Massachusetts. You can find more information here.
To help increase awareness about the efficacy and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has created a campaign called We Can Do This. Learn more here.
Clinical Trends Among U.S. Adults Hospitalized with COVID-19, March-December 2020
Following health and safety measures that protect against COVID-19 helped reduce severe illness from March 2020 to October 2020, however cases rose during the wintertime. The CDC wants to remind individuals that they should keep doing their part to stop the spread by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask. Read more here.
CDC’s Weekly Review
If you’re traveling, the CDC urges you to understand the situation with COVID-19 where you’re going so you can travel safely. Learn more here. Subscribe here to get the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review sent to your inbox each Friday.
May 5 is World Hand Hygiene Day
This Wednesday, May, 5, 2021, is World Hand Hygiene Day. Washing and cleaning your hands can save lives by supporting infection prevention and helping combat COVID-19. Learn more on this special day with information by the World Health Organization (WHO) here.
National Small Business Week Webinars and Events in Cambridge
This week, from Sunday, May 2, 2021 to Saturday, May 8, 2021 is National Small Business Week. Throughout the week, join the Cambridge Community Development Department for webinars and other events to provide resources to local small businesses and entrepreneurs. Learn more here.
Fuel Assistance Program Accepting Applications Until 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.
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 accepted from Wednesday, April 14, 2021 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.
The City of Cambridge's is offering upcoming vaccine clinics using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. These clinics are free and open to all individuals 18 years of age and older who live and work in Cambridge. Appointments aren’t needed and IDs aren’t required. Learn more here. Vaccine clinics locations and hours are as follows:
CambridgeSide Mall: 100 Cambridgeside Place in East Cambridge. Clinic located on the 2nd Floor above the Food Court, next to H&M Men. Parking available in the garage; entrance located on First St.
Wednesday, May 5 from 10 AM to 4 PM
Thursday, May 6 from 10 AM to 4 PM
Reservoir Church: 170 Rindge Avenue in North Cambridge.
On Friday, May 7, 2021, from 9 AM to 2 PM and 4 PM to 8 PM
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
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!
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."