I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources as well as recent legislative news.
We are sending out the weekly newsletter early this week given the Thanksgiving holiday.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving this week, I would like to thank all of my constituents who take time to engage, inform, and advocate. I would also like to thank my staff for all of their work in supporting constituents, tracking legislation, and moving the work of bills before the Public Health Committee forward.
This session, I have filed 85 bills, including An Act to stop MAss shootings, An Act to lift kids out of deep poverty, and An Act relative to preventing overdose deaths and increasing access to treatment. I’ve submitted 59 pieces of testimony on my bills so far, and am looking forward to submitting more as more of these bills are heard by committee. I am grateful to my legislative staff for the work that they have done on each piece of legislation.
I am also reviewing 382 bills before the Joint Committee on Public Health in partnership with my co-Chair. Additionally, I have been tasked with Chairing the Racial Inequities in Maternal Health Commission through my appointment as Chair of Public Health. Big thanks to my committee staff for the work that they have done over the last year.
More notes of gratitude to come, but for today wishing all a safe, happy, and healthy holiday weekend.
Table of Contents
- COVID-19 Testing Information
- State Updates
- National Updates
- Cambridge Updates
- MA Vaccination Updates
- Vaccination Appointment Resources
- Today’s Case Count
- Mental Health Services and Resources
- Where to Give
COVID-19 Testing Information
Cambridge COVID-19 Testing
- Monday: 4:00 – 8:00 PM at the CambridgeSide mall
- Wednesday: 2:00 – 6:00 PM at 2254 Massachusetts Ave, St. John the Evangelist Church
- Thursday: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM at the CambridgeSide mall
- Sunday: 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM at 50 Church Street
As of November 1, the testing site at the CambridgeSide mall has returned to walk-in testing inside the mall. There will be no testing on November 24 or 25 due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Learn more at https://www.cambridgema.gov/covid19/testing.
State COVID-19 Testing
To find a COVID-19 testing site in Massachusetts, visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/find-a-covid-19-test.
Governor Baker encourages residents to enjoy Thanksgiving, get Rapid Tests
Yesterday morning, Governor Baker announced that people should enjoy their Thanksgiving celebrations this year as almost 5 million people in the commonwealth are fully vaccinated. He said that people should consider taking a rapid at-home COVID test to protect family members who are unvaccinated or vulnerable to developing serious virus-related complications. Learn more: https://bit.ly/30LlBW1.
I would encourage everyone to remain vigilant in stopping the spread of COVID-19 during their holidays. We know that rapid tests are another tool to help people make safer decisions to gather, but we also must acknowledge that we are failing ourselves collectively by not making them more affordable and accessible. There is much, much more work to be done.
Baker Administration Issues New Guidance to Conserve Hospital Capacity
The Baker-Polito Administration announced today that effective November 29, 2021, any hospital or hospital system that has limited capacity must begin to reduce non-essential, non-urgent scheduled procedures to ensure adequate hospital capacity for immediate healthcare needs. The Administration developed the new guidance in collaboration with the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association. Learn more at t.ly/ZpRI.
Dr. Fauci Says Vaccinated Families Can Celebrate Thanksgiving Normally
In an interview on Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that since data show there is a small risk of infection for gatherings where everyone is vaccinated, families can “enjoy a typical Thanksgiving meal” if that is the case. Learn more at t.ly/FKVy.
CHA Vaccinating Kids 5+
COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 and older are available at the Cambridge Health Alliance Vaccine Center in Somerville (next to Target). Walk-ins are welcome and you don’t need to be a CHA patient. Visit bit.ly/3q1r4me to learn more. Clinic hours for the CHA Somerville Vaccine Center:
- Monday & Tuesday: 11:00 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, Thursday & Friday: 8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Where to Get a COVID-19 Booster Shot
This is a list of a few places that we are familiar with that are offering COVID-19 boosters in/near Cambridge for eligible MA residents:
- Cambridge Health Alliance (Walk-ins or appointments)
- CVS (Appointments required)
- 624 Mass. Ave (Central Square)
- Schedule here: bit.ly/3mgBACv.
- Star Market (Walk-ins or appointments)
- 699 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge
- Schedule here: bit.ly/3uujXTv.
- Search by zip-code for other locations https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/
MA Vaccination Updates
Vaccination Locations for Children Ages 5-11
- Pharmacies: CVS and Walgreens locations
- Mass General Brigham (for patients): covidvaccine.massgeneralbrigham.org/MA
- Boston Children’s Hospital (for patients): Schedule an appointment through the hospital’s MyChildren’s Patient Portal or call 617-919-7102.
- Atrius Health (for patients): Parents can schedule an appointment directly through MyHealth Online or call their child’s doctor’s office.
- Pediatricians’ Offices: Call your child’s doctor or nurse to determine vaccine availability.
- To see all Massachusetts vaccine locations and make appointments, go to vaxfinder.mass.gov or VaxAbilities.com for children with sensory and/or other accommodation needs.
Mobile Vaccination Services
You can find hours and dates for mobile vaccination clinics at t.ly/qTMc.
CHA Offering Walk-In Vaccinations
These sites are open to all Massachusetts residents age 12 and older:
- 176 Somerville Ave
- Cambridge Hospital
- East Cambridge Care Center
- Malden Care Center
CHA is also offering “pop-up” vaccination clinics – information on hours and locations here: https://www.challiance.org/patients-visitors/covid-19-vaccine.
Walk-In Vaccinations Available at CVS
Massachusetts residents age 12 and over can now get walk-in appointments at the 389 vaccine-carrying CVS locations across the Commonwealth.
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. Information as of Thursday, November 18, 2021:
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 87,855
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 78,058
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
Total doses administered: 11,094,867
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 13,100,400
Vaccination Appointment Resources
Resources for Booking and Getting to Your Appointment
- Online: Visit vaxfinder.mass.gov/. You can also book directly with a pharmacy at cvs.com or walgreens.com.
- 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. Boosters are also available.
Booster Shots Available for Fully Vaccinated Adults
COVID-19 boosters are available for all fully vaccinated MA residents aged 18 years and older. Learn more at mass.gov/COVID19booster.
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: 836,378
New Cases: 6,801
Total Deaths: 18,873
New Tests: 215,631
Total Cases: 8177
New Cases: 22
Total Deaths: 126
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.
Mental Health Services and Resources
If you or a loved one are struggling, please know that you are not alone. There are some great resources here: decker4rep.com/2021/mental-health-services-and-resources/.
Intimate Partner Abuse Prevention Helpline For MA residents
Thanks to COVID-19 relief funds from the CARES ACT, Massachusetts now has a Helpline that people can call for help rather than harming their partner. Open to any resident, the helpline is the first in the nation of its kind. This initiative is designed to prevent intimate partner violence by fostering accountability and change in people who harm or may harm their intimate partner. You can find more information at 10to10helpline.org or by calling 877-898-3411.
Where to Give
If you are able to give to others during this time, I encourage you to look to places that are working to help those most affected by COVID-19: decker4rep.com/2021/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: decker4rep.com/2021/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.