Thursday March 11 COVID-19 Updates

Dear all,
I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
Baker Press Conference Updates
Vaccine Appointment Information
Governor Baker announced that today, Thursday, March 11, 2021, is the last Thursday that the mass vaccinations will be made available on the vaxfinder website. He stated that tomorrow, Friday, March 12, 2021, the Administration will launch a new pre-registration system for the 7 state mass vaccine sites. Eligible residents can visit mass.gov/CovidVaccine to pre-register and receive a notification when there is an appointment available to book. The Administration plans to add more sites to the pre-registration program in April 2021. If you are unable to use a computer, call 2-1-1 for assistance in booking an appointment. Once an appointment becomes available, you will then receive a notification and have 24 hours to accept that appointment. It is important to note that even if you use the pre-registration system, it can still take several weeks for eligible individuals to receive a notification that there is an appointment available for them.
You can watch the Governor’s latest COVID-19 updates here.
State Updates
House Passes COVID Relief Bill
I voted with my colleagues in the House of Representatives late this afternoon to approve H. 89, An Act financing a program for improvements to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and providing relief to employers and workers in the Commonwealth. This bill:
  • Provides a tax credit to workers who received unemployment benefits and had incomes under 200% of the federal poverty level;
  • Allows all workers to receive emergency paid sick leave if they are infected with COVID-19, need to quarantine, or are being vaccinated;
  • Rolls back increases on employer contributions to the UI fund for 2021 and 2022;
  • Waives penalties on missing tax payments on UI benefits in 2020; and
  • Establishes a commission to study and make recommendations on the long-term solvency of the UI trust fund for the payment of unemployment benefits.
Updated Travel Rules for Individuals Who Have Been Fully Vaccinated for COVID-19
Individuals who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines or those who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, more than 14 days ago and who do not have symptoms, do not need to obtain a negative test prior to traveling to, or quarantine upon arrival to Massachusetts. Fully vaccinated individuals arriving in Massachusetts must have documentation of their vaccinations available, including the dates of administration. This exception doesn’t include vaccinated individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19, who must follow all testing and quarantine guidance outlined in the travel rules. Read more here.
MA Vaccination Updates
See above for vaccination updates announced in Governor Baker’s press conference today.
Resources for Booking and Getting to Your Appointment
  • Online: Go to vaxfinder.mass.gov/, or 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 65+ 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.
  • 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!
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, March 11, 2021:
Total doses administered: 2,353,408
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 2,781,490
Vaccination Timeline
Massachusetts is currently in the middle of Phase Two of the vaccine rollout. A reminder that as of today, Thursday, March 11, 2021, K-12 educators, child care workers, and K-12 school staff are eligible to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments.
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.
Federal Updates
President Biden Signs Relief Bill
President Joe Biden signed a $1.9 trillion relief package today, which includes $8.1 billion for Massachusetts. The President is planning to deliver a prime-time address tonight, his first since taking office.
Today’s Case Count
Total Cases: 563,983
New Cases: 1,589
Total Deaths: 16,218
Tests Today: 110,385
Total Cases: 5,060
New Cases: 25
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 Updates
Winter Farmers Market in Central Square
The Central Square Winter Farmers Market is open Mondays from 12 – 4PM from March 1 through April 19, 2021 at 76 Bishop Allen Drive. They accept SNAP, HIP, and P-EBT and offer a $15 SNAP match. Pre-ordering is available. Read more here.
Apply to Be Part of Starlight Square Season Two
The Starlight Square Steering Committee is now accepting applications for its Spring/Summer season. Anyone interested in organizing programming, performances or events can respond to the request for proposals here; applications are due by Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 11:59 PM. Read more here.
Cambridge Public Library Services – Remote Printing Now Available
In keeping with its efforts to bridge the gap in access to technology during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cambridge Public Library is now offering remote printing. Details are available on the library website at www.cambridgema.gov/cpl. For assistance, call 617-349-4040 or email library@cambridgema.gov.
Translation Resources Available
Multilingual city resources and information on COVID-19 are available on the City’s multilingual help page.
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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