I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources. In addition, I’m honored to have been awarded with the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA) Victim Rights Award for Legislator of the Year by Attorney General Maura Healey. It is an incredible opportunity to work with community members and organizations like MOVA on issues around victims rights.
The real recognition is always with those who have survived violent crimes and abuse, who get up everyday and talk to people like me about how their rights can be protected and how victims can be protected and empowered. They make it possible for us in the Legislature to pass budgets and legislation that cement the rights of victims
I would also like to wish you a happy Earth Day. You can learn more about this important annual event here. Read my Twitter thread on the subject here.
Vaccines Town Hall Next Thursday, April 29
Please join me, Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders, Dr. Bronwyn MacInnis, Director of the Infectious Disease and Microbiome Program at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, and Dr. Assaad Sayah, CEO of the Cambridge Health Alliance for a Town Hall meeting on Vaccines on Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 5:30 PM. You can register for a Zoom link here. The town hall will also air on CCTV's Channel 9, cctvcambridge.org/channel09, cctvcambridge.org/youtube, and facebook.com/cctvcambridge.
Please send any questions you have on vaccines for the panelists to Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov ahead of the panel.
Baker Press Conference Updates
Updates from the Governor
Today, Governor Baker joined local leaders to tour the Berkshire Regional Collaborative vaccination site in Pittsfield and to provide an update on COVID-19 vaccination. Governor Baker stated that the Commonwealth's vaccination program remains his top priority, rather than the reopening of our state, but noted that he is likely to have an update about reopening by the end of the month.
The Governor also shared that the Commonwealth received 348,000 first and second doses of the COVID vaccine this week, which he described as "basically flat" from the week prior. He is encouraging the Biden administration to reallocate federal vaccine supply to Massachusetts from other states that are unable to use their full allotment.
You can watch the Governor's latest updates here.
Federal Data Shows that Massachusetts has Lowest Rates of Vaccine Hesitancy Nationwide
The CDC mapped the results of a national survey on the amount of Americans who shared that they would “probably not” or “definitely not” receive the COVID vaccine. The results showed that 10 of the 11 counties with the lowest rates of hesitancy nationwide are located in Massachusetts. Read more here.
Nationwide and Federal Updates
The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program
The Federal Retail Pharmacy Program partners with retail pharmacies to expand COVID vaccination at community sites such as schools, stadiums, and more. Read more here.
Children’s Story Book Released to Help Children and Young People Cope with COVID-19
A story book entitled “My Hero is You, How kids can fight COVID-19!” is aimed at children aged 6 to 11 years old and is a tool to help children understand the COVID pandemic. Learn 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.
DHSP Online Free Virtual Activities This Week During April Vacation
DHSP Online is offering fun and free virtual activities all April Vacation this week until Friday, for Cambridge children in grades JK-8. Read more and sign up here.
Friday, 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.
Translation Resources Available
Multilingual city resources and information on COVID-19 are available on the City's multilingual help page.
MA Vaccination Updates
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
- Online: Pre-register for mass vaccination sites at vaccinesignup.mass.gov. All state vaccination sites are online at vaxfinder.mass.gov/, or you can book directly with a pharmacy at cvs.com or walgreens.com. You can also visit macovidvaccines.com, which is not an official site but is more user-friendly than the state site.
- 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 email@example.com.
- 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 4 PM. Information as of Friday, April 16, 2021:
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 47,553
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 26,392
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
The Department of Public Health publishes a Daily COVID-19 Vaccine Report in addition to its Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Report. Information as of Thursday, April 22, 2021:
Total doses administered: 5,397,052
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 6,465,170
Massachusetts is currently in Phase Three of the vaccine rollout. For more details and updates on vaccination priorities, please visit mass.gov/CovidVaccine.
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. Questions can be submitted to COVID-19-Vaccine-Plan-MA@mass.gov.
Today’s Case Count
Total Cases: 636,476
New Cases: 1,431
Total Deaths: 17,168
Tests Today: 102,071
Total Cases: 6,035
New Cases: 14
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 Avenue, 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:
- 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.