I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, 3,987 Cambridge residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 113 residents have passed away, according to the state’s database. Learn more here. There have been 462,910 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 4,821 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 111,726 tests have been performed today, and 13,622 have passed away. Learn more here.
Baker Press Conference Updates
Governor Baker announced today that the order requiring a 9:30pm business curfew will be lifted effective January 25 and that the 25% capacity limit will be lifted on February 8. The state’s stay at home advisory will be lifted January 25 as well.
The governor also announced the awarding of $37.5 million more in grants through the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation, including $1.3 million for 23 businesses in Cambridge.
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.
The Baker Administration announced a boost in unrestricted local aid for Massachusetts communities that will be included in the budget it plans to file next week. The 3.5 percent boost would reflect estimated increases in tax revenue. A new portal will also be launched that will allow cities, towns, non-profits, and private companies to access 10 grant programs through one application process. Read more here.
The Department of Public Health has removed the flu vaccine from the Immunization Requirements for School Entry. While DPH still recommends that students get the seasonal flu vaccine, they will no longer be required to do so.
The Mass Cultural Council has launched a second round of financial relief for individuals whose creative practices and incomes have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Grants of $1,500 are now available to Massachusetts individual artists and independent teaching artists/humanists/scientists. The application deadline is 2/2/21.
Governor Baker will deliver a virtual State of the Commonwealth address live from the State House on Tuesday, January 26 at 7:00 PM.
The Department of Public Health has amended its rules to allow students training to be pharmacists or physician assistants to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine if the commissioner determines that more healthcare professionals are needed for timely vaccine administration. UMass Medical students have already been trained and are administering shots.
Governor Baker announced earlier this week that Massachusetts will launch the COVID-19 CDC Partnership – Phase 1 with CVS and Walgreens pharmacies this week and that Fenway Park will be the state’s second mass vaccination site beginning February 1. These vaccination sites will continue administering vaccines to eligible residents in the Phase One priority groups — 10,000 doses per week at the pharmacies and up to 500 per day at Fenway. Eligible residents can view sites and book an appointment here.
Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Report
The Department of Public Health’s Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Report is updated each Thursday by 5 PM based on information available in the Massachusetts Immunization System. The report includes vaccine distribution numbers by county, as well as age and race/ethnicity breakdowns of those receiving vaccines. Information as of January 14, 2021:
- Cumulative first doses administered: 206,190
- Cumulative second doses administered: 32,984
- Cumulative Moderna doses shipped to MA: 205,100
- Cumulative Pfizer doses shipped to MA: 142,350
The Department of Public Health will launch an interactive digital dashboard soon.
Massachusetts is currently in Phase One of vaccine rollout, having started vaccinating first responders this week. Vaccination started on January 18 for the roughly 94,000 people living and working in congregate care settings like group homes, shelters, residential treatment programs and correctional facilities. Vaccinations at a few vaccination clinics and a select group of retail pharmacies also began this week for current priority groups in Phase 1. Home-based healthcare workers and healthcare workers doing non-COVID facing work are the next priority groups.
Individuals currently eligible for vaccination in Phase One can visit mass.gov/CovidVaccineMap to view vaccine locations, including mass vaccination sites, sign-up and eligibility information. Gillette Stadium is the first mass vaccination site; to determine if you are eligible and to schedule an appointment, visit CIC Health. Sites will continue to be added with appointments released on a rolling basis.
As the state transitions into Phase Two, the first group will be individuals with 2+ comorbidities, individuals aged 75+, and residents and staff of public and private low-income and affordable senior housing. Following this population, workers in COVID-vulnerable sectors, such as teachers, sanitation and public health workers, and transit workers will be vaccinated. Phase Two will finish with vaccinating schedules for individuals 65+ and individuals with one comorbidity.
Phase Three will expand vaccination efforts to the general public.
For more details and updates on vaccination priorities, please visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/when-can-i-get-the-covid-19-vaccine.
Vaccinations for first responders began on January 11. Details can be found at mass.gov/FirstResponderVaccine.
Harvard University COVID-19 information, click here.
MIT COVID-19 information, click here.
District can begin expanding in-person classes March 1 as plan passes committee with 6-1 vote
The first concrete step to expanding in-person classes across Cambridge Public Schools was taken Tuesday with School Committee approval of a plan by superintendent Kenneth Salim. The proposal passed 6-1. Read more here.
Cambridge flu clinics are over, but you can still get a flu shot.
The Cambridge Public Health Department’s annual public flu clinics ended on November 14, 2020. Please note that the Cambridge Public Health Department will not be able to offer any flu shot appointments at its office this year due to the pandemic.
Residents are encouraged to visit a local pharmacy or make an appointment with their health care provider. Flu shots are covered by most Massachusetts health insurance plans. Cambridge Health Alliance patients (12 – 22 years old) or Cambridge Public School students (12 – 22 years old) can now receive a flu shot at the Teen Health Center located in Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. Call 617-665-1548 to schedule an appointment.
Cambridge Library Services
Contactless Holds Pickup at at all library locations is suspended until at least February 1. Due dates will be extended until February 16 and no fines will be charged. The Library’s virtual programs and services and digital collections continue to be available. For assistance, call 617-349-4040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where to Get Tested
Testing appointments through the City’s free mobile-testing program are now available at the following locations:
- Monday – 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm
- Tuesday – 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm
- Wednesday – 2254 Massachusetts Ave, St. John the Evangelist Church, 10:00am – 6:00pm
- Thursday – CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, 11:00am – 7:00pm (Drive-through testing in garage. Enter on First St.)
- Friday – 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm
- Saturday – Christian Life Center located at 85 Bishop Allen Drive. 11:00am – 7:00pm
- Sunday – CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, 11:00am – 7:00pm (Drive-through testing in garage. Enter on First St.)
You can schedule an appointment online or by calling 617-665-3795.
Translation Resources Available
Multilingual city resources and information on COVID-19 are available on the City’s multilingual help page.
Where to Give
Transition House in Need of Emergency Donations
Transition House’s mission is to break the cycle of domestic violence in our community. In its first decades, Transition House created the first shelter on the East Coast, a legal services program for battered women, a foster grandparent program, and pioneered school-based teen dating violence intervention curricula and programs. Learn more here.
Today, Transition House provides vital housing options for individuals and families surviving domestic and intimate partner violence in Cambridge. With a 40% increase in emergency housing as a response to the pandemic, and rising expenses, Transition House needs support with their mission now more than ever. If you would like to donate, click here. If you would like to order from their wishlist, click here.
If you are able to give to others during this time, I encourage you to look to the following 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
- Chelsea Food Collaborative
- Food for Free
- 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.