I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
As of today, 3,466 Cambridge residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 111 residents have passed away, according to the state's database. Learn more here. There have been 393,188 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 7,136 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 108,412 tests have been performed today, and 12,634 have passed away. Learn more here.
Baker Press Conference Updates
The Baker administration has extended the restrictions on gatherings and business capacity until January 24th, with the option to extend further. The restrictions, introduced in December, limit gatherings to 25 people outdoors and 10 people indoors and caps business capacity at 25%. Capacity limits do not have to include workers, and schools are exempt from the restrictions entirely.
State Action Updates
Hospitals Rise to Tier 4, Nurse to Patient Ratios Eased as Coronavirus Spreads
84% of hospital beds in the state are now occupied, up from 65% around Thanksgiving. In response, state health officials have escalated Massachusetts to tier 4 status, meaning hospitals will meet regionally daily to coordinate patient treatment in light of less hospital capacity. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health also eased certain nurse to patient ratio requirements; hospitals with less than 20% of vacant ICU beds may request a temporary exemption to the nurse-to-patient ratios in the ICU. Read more here.
Mass Cultural Council, EOHED Grant $10 Million in COVID Relief to Cultural Nonprofits
183 cultural nonprofit organizations across the state have received nearly $10 million in grants from the Baker-Polito administration’s Economic Recovery Plan, Partnerships for Recovery, and the Mass Cultural Council. The grants explicitly earmarked $2 million for small cultural nonprofits. Read more here.
Harvard University COVID-19 information, click here.
MIT COVID-19 information, click here.
Updated vaccine schedule, click here.
In-person learning resumes at Cambridge Public Schools on Monday, January 11.
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.
Contactless Holds Pickup Service hours at the O'Neill Branch, 70 Rindge Ave., Cambridge have been suspended from Saturday, Jan. 2 through at least Monday, Jan. 18.
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
Cambridge Cohousing Hosting a Food Drive
This Friday, January 8, Cambridge Cohousing will once again collect & deliver food and children's books for Chelsea, to their partner at St. Luke's Church, which distributes food on Saturday mornings.
DROP OFF TIME: Friday, Jan 8th, anytime from 9am to 3:00pm.
NOTE: any food left off after 3pm will still be collected and delivered the following week
WHERE: 175 Richdale Ave entrance to Cohousing.
Please leave items just inside the gate either in or, if full, beside boxes marked FOR CHELSEA.
REMEMBER TO DONATE ONLY THE ITEMS LISTED BELOW and be sure food is in original packaging. nothing can be open, or re-bagged in any way, or it will have to be disposed.
Lastly, their Chelsea partner is happy to accept & distribute GIFT CARDS (Market Basket, Target, TJ MAxx, CVS), and prefer and appreciate the actual food donations. Thank you!
* Rice, 2-3 lb bags
* beans, dried and canned
* tomatoes, canned
* dry pasta
* unsweetened cereals
* baby food, unsweetened
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:
Cambridge Community Foundation
Hospitality Workers COVID-19 Emergency Fund
Cradles to Crayons Emergency Essentials 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
Union of Minority Neighborhoods
As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.