I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
Survey Finds Pandemic-EBT Helps, But Food Insecurity Persists
A new MassINC survey of over 10,000 households with K-12 students in public schools across the Commonwealth found that nearly half (47%) faced food insecurity over the past year, 98% of households who received Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) assistance used the benefit, but only a third of respondents (32%) received SNAP benefits. Many families who are eligible for SNAP did not apply, often because they thought they wouldn’t qualify. Learn more at https://bit.ly/3vYVLHP.
CDC Extends Eviction Moratorium
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky signed an extension to the federal eviction moratorium today. The moratorium was scheduled to expire on June 30, 2021 and has been extended through July 31, 2021. This is intended to be the final extension. Learn more at bit.ly/35VVc73.
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.
Summer Food Program Starts Next Week
The Cambridge Summer Food Program will run from June 28 through September 3, 2021. Monday through Friday between 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM. Cambridge youth ages 18 and younger can pick up breakfast and lunch meals at locations throughout the city. Visit camb.ma/3xJbgoF for details.
Registration Opens Tomorrow for Guaranteed Income Lottery
Tomorrow, June 25, 2021, Cambridge RISE will open applications for its guaranteed income lottery. Applications will be accepted through Friday, July 2, 2021. This is the first step in launching a pilot giving $500 recurring payments to single caretaker families in Cambridge. Visit Cambridgerise.org/apply to learn more.
Baker Praises New Housing, Answers Questions
Governor Baker held a press conference today after a ribbon cutting ceremony for The Abby, a new residential building near the North Quincy MBTA station. The Governor defended his recent proposal to make August and September sales tax-free and said that companies can decide whether or not to require employees to be vaccinated in order to keep workers safe. Many of the Governor’s recent updates are available at mass.gov/governor-updates.
MA Vaccination Updates
Vax Express Returning for Second Round
The “Vax Express,” a commuter rail train operating as a mobile vaccination site, 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. The stops are:
- Weds. July 7:
- Blue Hill Ave 10AM – 2PM
- South Station 3PM – 7PM
- Thurs. July 8
- Worcester Station 10AM – 2PM
- Fri. July 9
- Lowell Station 10AM – 2PM
- North Station 3PM – 7PM
- Sat. July 10
- Lawrence Station 10AM – 2PM
- Sun. July 11
- Fitchburg Station 10AM – 2PM
Pop-Up Vaccine Clinic at Boston Children’s Museum
The Boston Children’s Museum is hosting a pop-up vaccine clinic on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM for people aged 12 and up. Both the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be available. Second Pfizer doses will be administered at the museum on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Registrations are encouraged at https://www.cic-health.com/childrensmuseum, but walk-ins will be welcome.
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:
- 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 17, 2021:
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 79,701
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 71,401
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
Total doses administered: 8,505,005
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 9,555,100
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: 663,478
New Cases: 78
Total Deaths: 17,622
Total Cases: 6,057
New Cases: 2
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.