I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources. There will not be an email tomorrow in observance of Juneteenth. I also want to wish all those who celebrate a Happy Father’s Day!
Vaccinator Appreciation Day
In gratitude and appreciation for the staff and volunteers who have fully vaccinated more than 4 million people in Massachusetts, Governor Baker declared June 16 “Vaccinator Appreciation Day” in the Commonwealth.
US Investing $3.2 Billion in Antiviral Drug Development
Dr. Anthony Fauci announced today that the United States is investing $3.2 billion in a new program to speed development of antiviral pills to treat COVID-19 and other dangerous viruses that could turn into pandemics. The new funds will speed testing that is already underway and support private sector research, development and manufacturing. Read more at https://bit.ly/3gDBF0s.
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.
City Closures for Juneteenth
In observance of Juneteenth, City of Cambridge offices, libraries, and senior centers will be closed tomorrow, June 18. Cambridge Public Library will also be closed on Saturday, June 19. To learn about all service impacts, visit https://camb.ma/3wtWQsA.
Baker Announces Plan for $2.8 Billion in ARPA Funding
Governor Baker held a press conference today to announce his plan for spending roughly $2.815 billion in federal aid on priorities including housing, economic development, health care, and infrastructure. The Governor said that the plan is particularly focused on supporting populations hardest-hit by COVID-19, such as lower-wage workers and communities of color. The press conference was livestreamed at mass.gov/governor-updates.
MA Vaccination Updates
Museum of Science Vaccine Clinic
On Friday, June 18 from 11:00am to 6:00pm and Saturday, June 19 from 11:00am to 4:00pm, the Museum of Science Boston will be holding their second vaccine clinic. The clinic is open to everyone ages 12 and up and will offer the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Walk-ins are welcome, no insurance needed. First and second doses will be available.
The Vax Express is aimed at increasing access to the COVID-19 vaccine in communities with low vaccination rates by utilizing the MBTA Commuter Rail train as a mobile vaccination site. While the public can walk up without an appointment, appointments are available on the CIC website. From June 18-20, the Vax Express will make the following stops along the MBTA Commuter Rail network:
- June 18: Lowell and Boston
- Lowell Station on the Lowell line, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- North Station, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- June 19: Lawrence
- Lawrence Station on the Haverhill line, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- June 20: Fitchburg
- Fitchburg Station on the Fitchburg line, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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:
- Hynes Convention Center: June 22
- Natick Mall: June 23
- Reggie Lewis Center: June 27
- Doubletree in Danvers: June 30
- 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 10, 2021:
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 79,026
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 66,749
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
Total doses administered: 8,382,488
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 9,455,880
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.
Today’s Case Count
Total Cases: 663,048
New Cases: 82
Total Deaths: 17,593
Total Cases: 6,052
New Cases: 0
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.
June Schedule for Cambridge COVID Testing & Vaccination Sites
Each site will offer both COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 vaccinations simultaneously for the month of June, while supplies last. These sites will only be using the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine, so you will not need to return for a second shot:
- 2254 Massachusetts Ave, St. John the Evangelist Church, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM.
- CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM. (Drive-through testing by motor vehicle in the garage. Enter on First St. For safety reasons, this site cannot accommodate anyone arriving by bicycle or on foot).
- 85 Bishop Allen Drive, Christian Life Center (owned and operated by St. Paul’s AME), 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM.
- CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM. (Drive-through testing by motor vehicle in the garage. Enter on First St. For Safety Reasons, this site cannot accommodate anyone arriving by bicycle or on foot).
No identification or Social Security number is required. All sites are wheelchair accessible.
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.