I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
Office Hours Tomorrow Morning
As a reminder, I will be holding virtual office hours tomorrow, Friday, March 26, 2021, from 10:00 - 11:00 AM. The first half hour of office hours will be open to all who wish to join. The second half hour will be reserved for 1:1 appointments for those who have matters that they wish to discuss privately. If you are interested in attending, please fill out this form or call my office at 617-722-2060.
Bloomberg Radio Interview
Yesterday I spoke to Joe Shortsleeve and Kim Carrigan on Bloomberg Baystate Business radio about legislation that I filed alongside Senator Joe Boncore to ensure that any hotel food and retail employer offers laid-off workers the option to return to their jobs once their employers start re-hiring. Experienced workers who have been laid off are our best chance to have a strong recovery when industry is ready to hire again. When experienced workers are bypassed for cheaper wages the cost of the loss is passed onto taxpayers & it will be slower economic recovery. A just and inclusive recovery means we know the value of the workers who have been responsible for bringing in over $25 Billion in hospitality revenue here pre-pandemic. When it's time to bring back workers, they need to be at the front of the line. My comments on the hospitality comeback start at 50:14.
At 1:00:15 I was also asked to share my thoughts on Governor Baker’s handling of the pandemic. Now is not the time to stop listening to science & walk away from #public health guidance. I continue to be concerned about the state's costly privatization of the COVID-19 response. Later on the show my colleague Representative Bill Driscoll Jr was asked about the oversight hearing on Vaccine Rollout & Emergency Response Structure & Planning. You can hear his responses starting at 1:24:27.
Baker Press Conference Updates
Homebound Vaccination Central Intake Line
Governor Baker announced today that a homebound vaccination program will launch on Monday, March 29, 2021. In-home vaccinations will be available to homebound individuals who cannot leave their home, even with supports, to get to a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
If you or a loved one is homebound and needs to schedule an appointment, you can call the Homebound Vaccination Central Intake Line at 1-844-771-1628, which is open Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM, to be screened and schedule an appointment. The line is available in English and Spanish, and there are also translators for 100 other languages. Visit here for more information.
Other Updates from Governor Baker
Governor Baker announced that we will receive 40,800 additional doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week as well as a one-time allocation of 20,000 Pfizer first doses. The Governor also shared that the Commonwealth is currently investing $33 million in public awareness, outreach, and increasing access to the COVID vaccine in the 20 communities that have been most disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
You can watch the Governor's latest COVID-19 updates here.
MA Vaccination Updates
Resources for Booking and Getting to Your Appointment
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
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.
President Joe Biden is doubling his original COVID-19 vaccination goal to ensure that 200 million vaccinations will be administered by his 100th day in office. Biden also intends to have all K-8 schools open full time and in-person by that same 100-day mark. Read more here.
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."