Thursday April 15 COVID- 19 Updates

Dear all,
I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources. I also want to recognize that today is One Boston Day, marking eight years since the Boston Marathon bombing. On this day, we honor those who were injured and killed, and celebrate the resilience of our Commonwealth.
Nationwide and Federal Updates
Top Health Officials Encourage Americans to Get Vaccinated
CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, and the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, testified on Capitol Hill today in front of a House Select Committee overseeing the government’s COVID response. These top federal health officials encouraged Americans to get vaccinated against COVID, but did not have a lot to say regarding the investigation into the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Read more here.
Vaccine Hesitancy in the US
FDA and CDC’s recommendation that states pause the usage of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine could deter people who are already hesitant to receive the vaccine, shares public health experts. Dr. Fauci shared that the federal government is increasing efforts to educate individuals about the rare blood clot issue. Read more here.
Health Officials Remain Vigilant, Despite New COVID Tests Being Able to Detect Variants
The emergence of new variants has led to concerns regarding the accuracy of some existing COVID tests. The FDA has warned that new mutations in the coronavirus could make some COVID tests less effective. Learn more here.
MA Vaccination Updates
Vaccine Eligibility to Expand Monday
Next Monday, April 19, 2021, the general public age 16 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
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 info@eldercare.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!
Cambridge Vaccination Data
The City of Cambridge has added Cambridge Vaccination Data to its COVID-19 Data Center. Data will be updated weekly on Fridays at 4pm. Information as of Friday, April 9, 2021:
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 37,713
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 21,517
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
The Department of Public Health is now publishing a Daily COVID-19 Vaccine Report in addition to its Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Report. Information as of Thursday, April 15, 2021:
Total doses administered: 4,834,646
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 5,631,560
Vaccination Timeline
Massachusetts is currently in the middle of Phase Two of the vaccine rollout. For more details and updates on vaccination priorities, please visit mass.gov/CovidVaccine.
For more details and updates on vaccination priorities, please visit mass.gov/CovidVaccine.
FAQs
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has a Frequently Asked Questions site that is continually updated as they receive new questions. You may access the FAQs here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccine-frequently-asked-questions. Questions can be submitted to COVID-19-Vaccine-Plan-MA@mass.gov.
State Updates
Testing in MA
As vaccines are continually being distributed, COVID testing remains a key tool to stop the spread across our community and the Commonwealth. Massachusetts is a national leader in testing and passed 20 million total tests administered yesterday. Read more on testing here.
MA Vaccine Pre-Registration System to Add 4 Regional Collaboratives This Week
An additional four regional vaccine collaboratives will be added to the Commonwealth’s pre-registration system this week. Residents will soon be able to pre-register for appointments at sites operated by regional collaboratives in Northborough, West Springfield, Palmer, and Northampton. Read more here.
DHSP Online Free Virtual Activities During April Vacation Week
DHSP Online will offer fun and free virtual activities during April Vacation week, April 20, 2021 through April 23, 2021, for Cambridge children in grades JK-8. Read more and sign up 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 April 14, 2021 until May 7, 2021. Read more here.
Youth Mental Health Mini-Grants Available
The Cambridge Public Health Department will award six $1,000 mini-grants to support projects promoting youth mental health and wellness in Cambridge. Applications are due by Tuesday, April 20, 2021. For more information and to apply, go to bit.ly/3u3pEWX.
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.
Translation Resources Available
Multilingual city resources and information on COVID-19 are available on the City’s multilingual help page.
Baker Press Conference Updates
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today. You can watch the Governor’s latest updates here.
Today’s Case Count
Total Cases: 626,550
New Cases: 1,884
Total Deaths: 17,087
Tests Today: 101,521
Cambridge
Total Cases: 5,913
New Cases: 2
Total Deaths: 121
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.
For Harvard University COVID-19 information, click here.
For MIT COVID-19 information, click here.
Cambridge COVID Testing Sites
Mental Health Services and Resources
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.”
Transition House in Need of Emergency Donations
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:
I also encourage you to donate to the following organizations that are engaging in racial justice work:
As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.
Sincerely,
Marjorie

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