I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
Today’s Case Count
As of today, there have been 507,166 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and there are 2,602 newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state today. 81,286 tests have been performed today, and 14,489 have passed away. Learn more here. As of today, 4,413 Cambridge residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 117 residents have passed away, according to the state’s database. Learn more here.
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.
Baker Press Conference Updates
Governor Baker announced today that businesses, restaurants and close contact personal services, which had been limited to 25 percent capacity since December 26, can operate at 40 percent capacity beginning on February 8. The Governor also announced approximately $173.9 million in awards to 4,043 additional small businesses in the sixth round of COVID relief grants administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC). Read more here.
Eighteen CVS pharmacies across Massachusetts, including one in Cambridge, will begin to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible residents on Thursday, February 11, with booking available as of February 9. Specific locations will be announced by that date. Patients must register in advance online or through the CVS Pharmacy app, and people without online access can call CVS customer service. Read more here.
Individuals age 75 and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination as of February 1st and can make appointments at mass.gov/COVIDVaccineMap. 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.
Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) is also offering free transportation for local older adults to COVID-19 vaccination sites in Cambridge and Somerville. If you are age 75 and up, from Cambridge or Somerville, and you need a ride to your vaccination site, please contact SCES. For more information, click here. To register for a ride, call SCES at 617-628-2601 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Cambridge has published accessibility information for the state’s mass vaccination sites. You can find it 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 February 4, 2021:
- Cumulative doses administered: 681,472
- Cumulative Moderna doses shipped to MA: 619.400
- Cumulative Pfizer doses shipped to MA: 276,900
Massachusetts is currently at the beginning of Phase Two of vaccine rollout: the first priority group, individuals aged 75 years or older. Eligible residents can make appointments to receive a vaccine at more than 150 locations across the state including first responder-only sites, mass vaccination sites, regional vaccination sites and participating CVS Health and Walgreens pharmacies. Additional sites will open in more locations on a rolling basis. The map of vaccination sites is here; you can now search by zip code as well.
As the state transitions into Phase Two, the priority groups are:
- Individuals 75 or older
- Individuals 65 or older or with two or more comorbidities and/or residents and staff of low income and affordable senior housing
- Early education and K-12 workers, transit, utility, food and agriculture, sanitation and public health workers
- 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/covid-19-vaccine.
COVID Testing Sites
Testing appointments through the City’s free mobile-testing program are 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.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced that pooled COVID-19 testing will start at 120 schools and districts this month, as close to February 8 as possible. Read more from when the pilot program was announced last month here. The pooled tests cost at least 75% less than the cost of an individual test, officials said.
House Speaker Mariano and Senate President Spilka announced yesterday that they are forming three new committees for the 2021-2022 session, including a Joint Standing Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management. That committee will be tasked with oversight of the state’s pandemic response and take on an advisory role for the Legislature. It will also weigh broader issues of disaster preparedness, emergency management and communication.
Youth Employment Opportunity
The Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General has announced the FY2022 Healthy Summer Youth Jobs Grant Program. Applicants may apply for grants to fund jobs for youth with core health and wellness components while also providing opportunities for professional enrichment. The deadline for applications is March 5. To learn more about this opportunity, click here.
Harvard University COVID-19 information, click here.
MIT COVID-19 information, click here.
The City of Cambridge announced that it is extending its rollback to a modified Phase II, Step 2 of the Commonwealth’s Reopening Massachusetts Plan for one week and will be returning to Phase III, Step 1 effective on Monday, February 8 at 12:00 AM. Sectors including museums, movie theaters, indoor historic sites and indoor recreational activities will be allowed to reopen at that time. Learn more here.
Cambridge Library Services
Contactless holds pick-up at all library locations will resume the week of February 8. Holds pickup will resume on Monday, February 8 at Central Square Branch and Valente Branch; Tuesday, February 9 at the Main Library; and Wednesday, February 10 at O’Neill Branch. The winter schedule includes a dedicated hour for seniors and at-risk individuals at the start of each service day at the Main Library. The full schedule of hours and additional details will be posted on the library website at www.cambridgema.gov/cpl. For assistance, call 617-349-4040 or email email@example.com.
Translation Resources Available
Multilingual city resources and information on COVID-19 are available on the City’s multilingual help page.
February Vacation Activities
The Center for Families is providing a week of fun and free virtual activities for February vacation week, 2/15-2/20. Registration is required. For more information, go to https://letstalkcambridge.org/february-family-fun-week/. To register, call 617-349-6385 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Daily Table is a nonprofit community grocer dedicated to providing fresh, tasty, convenient, and nutritious food to communities most in need at prices everyone can afford. The grocer offers 50% off fresh produce for SNAP recipients. Daily Table opened its third location in Central Square, 684 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139. Please spread the word for those who could benefit from this amazing new resource. For more information, click here.
Where to Give
Transition House in Need of Emergency Donations
- Make a donation
- Order from their wishlist
If you are able to give to others during this time, I encourage you to look to additional 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
- Food for Free
- Chelsea Food Collaborative
- 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.