I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
Today’s Case Count
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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.
Baker Press Conference Updates
Governor Baker led a virtual bill signing ceremony on Tuesday to celebrate the passage of a $626 million economic development bill that included long-term funding to support businesses and workers. The law also contained a “housing choice” proposal to lower the threshold to a simple majority for local governing boards to approve changes to zoning rules to facilitate the construction of new housing. The Governor said the zoning law could help cities and towns adapt to a post-pandemic work environment that he believes is likely to be changed forever.
Individuals age 75 and older are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination as of February 1st and can make appointments at mass.gov/COVIDVaccine, at maimmunizations.org or by calling 2-1-1. 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.
Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) is also offering free transportation for local older adults to COVID-19 vaccination sites in Cambridge and Somerville as well as Fenway Park and CHA Malden. If you are age 75 and up, from Cambridge or Somerville, and you need a ride to your vaccination site, please contact SCES. For more information, click here. To register for a ride, call SCES at 617-628-2601 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Cambridge has published accessibility information for the state’s mass vaccination sites. You can find it here.
Vaccination Appointment Call Center Launched
A call center to assist with booking vaccination appointments launched on Friday. The call center will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. People aged 75 or older, who are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, can reach the call center by calling 211. It is available in English, Spanish, and translation services are available for 100-plus languages. Read more here.
Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Report
The Department of Public Health’s Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Report is updated each Thursday by 5 PM based on information available in the Massachusetts Immunization System. The report includes vaccine distribution numbers by county, as well as age and race/ethnicity breakdowns of those receiving vaccines. Information as of February 4, 2021:
- Cumulative doses administered: 681,472
- Cumulative Moderna doses shipped to MA: 619.400
- Cumulative Pfizer doses shipped to MA: 276,900
Massachusetts is currently at the beginning of Phase Two of vaccine rollout: the first priority group, individuals aged 75 years or older. There are currently 125 vaccination sites in Massachusetts and it is expected that this will ramp up to 165 sites by mid-February. The map of vaccination sites is here; you can now search by zip code as well.
As the state transitions into Phase Two, the priority groups are:
- Individuals 75 or older
- Individuals 65 or older or with two or more comorbidities and/or residents and staff of low income and affordable senior housing
- Early education and K-12 workers, transit, utility, food and agriculture, sanitation and public health workers
- Individuals with one comorbidity
Phase Three will expand vaccination efforts to the general public.
For more details and updates on vaccination priorities, please visit https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has a Frequently Asked Questions site that is continually updated as they receive new questions. 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.
COVID Testing Sites
Testing appointments through the City’s free mobile-testing program are available at the following locations:
- Monday – 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm
- Tuesday – 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm
- Wednesday – 2254 Massachusetts Ave, St. John the Evangelist Church, 10:00am – 6:00pm
- Thursday – CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, 11:00am – 7:00pm (Drive-through testing in garage. Enter on First St.)
- Friday – 50 Church St. 12:00pm – 8:00pm
- Saturday – Christian Life Center located at 85 Bishop Allen Drive. 11:00am – 7:00pm
- Sunday – CambridgeSide in East Cambridge, 11:00am – 7:00pm (Drive-through testing in garage. Enter on First St.)
You can schedule an appointment online or by calling 617-665-3795.
The state has published a website of COVID-related federal grants at mass.gov/federalfunds. This page provides detailed information about federal funds provided to the Commonwealth and to municipalities, including the purpose, amount received, and amount spent.
Youth Employment Opportunity
The Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General has announced the FY2022 Healthy Summer Youth Jobs Grant Program. Applicants may apply for grants to fund jobs for youth with core health and wellness components while also providing opportunities for professional enrichment. The deadline for applications is March 5. To learn more about this opportunity, click here.
Harvard University COVID-19 information, click here.
MIT COVID-19 information, click here.
The City of Cambridge has created multilingual information sheets regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine for individuals who speak Spanish, Arabic, Haitian Creole, Chinese and more. Read here.
The City of Cambridge has increased indoor capacity limits from 25% to 40% as of February 8. Indoor gatherings are still limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 25 people. Learn more here.
COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery Grants for Cambridge Nonprofit Organizations
The intent of this funding is to provide COVID-19 related assistance and critical support to the vulnerable and at-risk Cambridge families and individuals served by Cambridge nonprofit organizations. Applications for COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery Grants for Cambridge Nonprofit Organizations to be available on February 10, 2021. To learn more about the grant opportunity, read here.
Cambridge Works is a transitional jobs program for younger adults who have had difficulty finding a job. This program is ongoing and open to residents, must be age 18 – 35, without a college degree. The program is meant for those who have experienced difficulty finding jobs for any of the following reasons: limited work experience, a gap in work history, frustration with dead end jobs, or legal or personal issues. For additional information on the Cambridge works program, click here.
Donate Wool Socks
The Office of Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui is partnering with the Vice-Mayor Alanna Mallon, Cambridge City Council, CASPAR & Bay Cove, Cambridge Police Department, and CambridgeSide to collect and donate 2,500 wool socks to homeless residents for its 4th Annual “Warm Hearts, Warm Feet Sock Drive.” From February 1, 2021 through February 14, 2021, this year’s sock drive aims to collect the largest amount of donations in this annual sock drive’s history. For more information, click here or contact Adelina Atamer, Outreach Manager, at email@example.com.
Cambridge Library Services
Contactless holds pickup has resumed at Central Square Branch, Valente Branch and the Main Library. It will resume tomorrow at O’Neill Branch. The winter schedule includes a dedicated hour for seniors and at-risk individuals at the start of each service day at the Main Library. Details are available on the library website at www.cambridgema.gov/cpl. For assistance, call 617-349-4040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Translation Resources Available
Multilingual city resources and information on COVID-19 are available on the City’s multilingual help page.
February Vacation Activities
The Center for Families is providing a week of fun and free virtual activities for February vacation week, 2/15-2/20. Registration is required. For more information, go to https://letstalkcambridge.org/february-family-fun-week/. To register, call 617-349-6385 or email email@example.com.
Where to Give
Transition House in Need of Emergency Donations
- Make a donation
- Order from their wishlist
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
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.