I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources. This is the last daily COVID-19 newsletter coming from my office. Starting next Friday, you can expect to receive a newsletter at the end of each week. Now that the State of Emergency has ended, the COVID-19 Command Center has been disbanded, and vaccination numbers are rising, it feels like the right time for this transition. I will provide weekly email updates that will include any latest Covid-19 information and integrate more of my legislative work. I will email you if there is timely information and promise to continue to be a source of reliable, accurate public health and emergency communications.
I would like to thank each of you who have read my daily updates and shared either my update or important information in it. I appreciate your efforts in keeping each other safe and informed. Thank you as well to those who took the time to share a note of appreciation. I would also like to give a really big thank you to my staff who every day, and sometimes into the evening, worked with me to ensure our updates were relevant and helpful.
We started sending out these updates on March 13, 2020. We sent them seven days per week for the first few months of the pandemic and then tapered to five days per week. As of today, we have sent out over 365 COVID-19 daily newsletters over the course of the last 16 months. We have also hosted 17 town halls, called thousands of seniors, held virtual office hours, and helped countless residents and small businesses access pandemic relief and other assistance.
Together we have watched with great alarm the COVID-19 case numbers rise, and with tremendous sorrow we have grieved for the 123 known Cambridge residents and 17,633 residents of the Commonwealth who have lost their lives to COVID-19. This toll does not include the incalculable impact of lives that were shortened due to the many ways this pandemic has changed our lives, often having a domino effect on our ability to access preventative care and mental health services, as well as on the financial instability of many. Together, we have also marveled and celebrated the success of scientists whose work both over the decades and in rapid response to this pandemic enabled us to benefit from the success of COVID-19 vaccines. While we are not out of the woods and will not be until there is a more rapid equitable response globally, locally we are privileged and have benefited from watching vaccination rates rise while COVID infections fall.
There are so many people to thank and acknowledge. I have tried in past updates to call out special thank yous to the many community members and organizations that have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic. Today, I say thank you to each of you who have contributed to the hope that we see today. We will have to continue to make conscious choices to help shape an inclusive recovery that centers individuals and communities that have disproportionately been impacted by this pandemic. But at this moment, I want to say thank you for the choices you have made to help bring us to this moment of hope and possibility.
We will update you soon on the new format of our weekly emails. My staff and I will take a break while we turn our full attention to the Legislative work ahead of me, my responsibilities as Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health and as always on the needs of my constituents. Keep safe, stay cool, get vaccinated and see you around the neighborhood.
You can continue to find future emails in your inbox, on my website decker4rep.com, and posted on Facebook (Marjorie Decker) and Instagram (@repdecker). Please do not hesitate to reach out if I can be helpful in any way.
Mass VaxMillions Giveaway Registration Now Open
Residents of Massachusetts who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can now register at https://vaxmillionsgiveaway.com/ for one of five $1 million cash prizes or, for those under age 18, a $300,000 scholarship. The deadline to register is July 22.
Over 180 Million Americans Are Vaccinated Against COVID-19
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 181.3 million people have received one or both doses of the vaccine in the U.S. This includes more than 155.9 million people who have been fully vaccinated. Read more at https://wapo.st/3dC2AZP.
AAP Recommends That Kids Keep Wearing Masks
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) website healthychildren.org has a page addressing the question, “Does my unvaccinated child still have to wear a mask when the rest of the family doesn't?” The response is that children and adolescents who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 should continue to wear masks when social distancing isn't possible. Vaccinated adults and older children should consider modeling mask-wearing behavior in support. See the whole discussion at https://bit.ly/2RHpwyZ.
Cambridge Offering COVID Testing Once Weekly As Of Today
Beginning Thursday, July 1, the City of Cambridge will offer free COVID-19 testing 1 day per week - on Thursdays between 11:00 a.m. and 3 :00 p.m. - inside the CambridgeSide Mall. Testing will be located on the 2nd Floor above the Food Court. Free parking is available in the lower-level of the garage; entrance located on CambridgeSide Place. Learn more at https://www.cambridgema.gov/covid19/Testing
Guaranteed Income Lottery Applications Due Tomorrow
Cambridge RISE has begun accepting applications for its guaranteed income lottery. Applications will be accepted through tomorrow, July 2, 2021. Thanks to donations, Cambridge RISE can now include an additional 10 families in the pilot. Visit Cambridgerise.org/apply to learn more.
MA Vaccination Updates
The Vax Bus will host walk-in mobile vaccine clinics in 23 cities and towns. The first round will be from June 26 - July 15 and the second from July 17 - August 5 at the same locations. The two-dose Pfizer vaccine will be available for ages 12 and up, and the single dose J&J vaccine will be available for ages 18 and up. Visit mass.gov/vaxbus for hours and locations.
The Vax Express will make a second round of stops from July 7-11, 2021. Walk-ins are welcome and there will be free food, music, and $25 grocery store gift cards with each vaccination. Visit https://www.cic-health.com/vaxexpress for details or to reserve your spot.
Market Basket Vaccine Clinics
There will be COVID-19 vaccine clinics set up in the parking lots of Market Basket stores in Chelsea, Fall River, Lawrence, Lynn and Revere on Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week and next week. No appointment is necessary. Anyone who gets a shot at one of these clinics will also receive a $25 Market Basket gift card. See the full clinic schedule here: CIC-health.com/marketbasket.
CHA Offering Walk-In Vaccinations
The Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) is offering walk-in vaccinations at its three sites (176 Somerville Ave. in Somerville, Encore Boston Harbor in Everett and Tufts University in Medford, see https://bit.ly/3eM3TGF for locations and hours). These sites are open to all Massachusetts residents age 12 and older. They encourage people to pre-register here or via MyCHArt (for CHA patients), but walk-ins are welcome. As a reminder, only the Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for use in people under 18 years old, and minors must have a consent form signed by their parent or guardian.
Walk-In Vaccinations Available at Mass Vax Sites & CVS
Massachusetts residents age 12 and over can now get COVID-19 vaccines at all seven mass vaccination sites. People can still make appointments or see walk-in information at vaxfinder.mass.gov. Walk-in appointments are also available at the 389 vaccine-carrying CVS locations across the Commonwealth. Read more here.
Closing Dates for Mass Vaccination Sites
The Baker-Polito Administration has announced its timeline for ramping down mass vaccination sites. The upcoming planned closing dates at each site are:
- Eastfield Mall in Springfield: July 6
- Former Circuit City in Dartmouth: July 13
Cambridge Vaccination Data
The City of Cambridge has added Cambridge Vaccination Data to its COVID-19 Data Center. Data will be updated weekly on Thursdays at 6 PM. Information as of Thursday, June 24, 2021:
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 80,190
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 72,322
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
Total doses administered: 8,636,025
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 9,615,340
Vaccination Appointment Resources
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: Find an appointment or see walk-in availability at vaxfinder.mass.gov/. You can also book directly with a pharmacy at cvs.com or walgreens.com or 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.”
- In-Home Vaccinations: Anyone who is unable to get to a vaccine location can call the Homebound Vaccination Central Intake Line at 833-983-0485 between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM Monday-Friday.
- 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!
Massachusetts is currently in Phase Three of the vaccine rollout. Everyone age 12 and older is eligible for a vaccine. 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.
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today. Many of the Governor’s recent updates are available at mass.gov/governor-updates.
Today’s Case Count
Total Cases: 663,898
New Cases: 76
Total Deaths: 17,633
Total Cases: 6,066
New Cases: 1
Total Deaths: 123
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.
July Schedule for Cambridge COVID Testing & Vaccination Sites
Beginning Thursday, July 1, the City of Cambridge will offer free COVID-19 testing 1 day per week - on Thursdays between 11:00 a.m. and 3 :00 p.m. - inside the CambridgeSide Mall. Testing will be located on the 2nd Floor above the Food Court. Free parking is available in the lower-level of the garage; entrance located on CambridgeSide Place.
Learn more at https://www.cambridgema.gov/covid19/Testing
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:
Helpline for People Who Abuse
There is a new Helpline for People Who Abuse that launched on April 15, 2021, that came out of CARES ACT funding for COVID-19. The Helpline is currently open to any resident of western Massachusetts, however they plan to expand to more residents within the Commonwealth. This helpline is the first in the nation of its kind, and is based out of Western Massachusetts. You can find more information here.
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
- Daily Table
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.