I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources. Apologies for the late COVID updates -- as you likely know, we have been deliberating and voting on the House FY22 budget this week. You may watch the budget debate archived videos and live stream here. Stay tuned for an overview.
Today is Denim Day and I am supporting survivors of sexual violence and standing with the Massachusetts’ Women’s Caucus and Peace Over Violence by wearing jeans today. Read my Twitter thread about it here and learn more at denimdayinfo.org.
Reminder: Vaccines Town Hall Tomorrow Thursday, April 29
Please join me, Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders, Dr. Bronwyn MacInnis, Director of the Infectious Disease and Microbiome Program at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Dr. Paul Biddinger, Chair of the state’s COVID Vaccine Advisory Board, and Dr. Assaad Sayah, CEO of the Cambridge Health Alliance for a Town Hall meeting on Vaccines tomorrow, Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 5:30 PM. You can register for a Zoom link here. The town hall will also air on CCTV's Channel 9, cctvcambridge.org/channel09, cctvcambridge.org/youtube, and facebook.com/cctvcambridge.
Please send any questions you have on vaccines for the panelists to Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov ahead of the panel. Thank you to those of you who have already sent questions!
Accessibility at Mass Vaccination Location Sites
Mass vaccination locations are accessible and are vaccinating thousands of Massachusetts residents each day. Learn more about mass vaccination sites and pre-register for an appointment here.
More Information on Vaccinations in MA
Anyone who lives, works, or studies in Massachusetts can register for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at a mass vaccination or regional collaborative location. They will contact you when it's your turn to book an appointment. Sign up here.
Nationwide and Federal Updates
A Decline in COVID-19 Rates
COVID-19 rates are declining across the nation. The current 7-day average of new daily cases is 53,934, which is a 16% decrease from the previous week. If you’re not fully vaccinated yet, the CDC recommends that you practice healthy habits by getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, and staying 6 feet apart in order to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
CDC Study on the Efficacy of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines
A CDC study found that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines help prevent you from getting COVID-19 under real-world conditions. Both health care and essential workers who were fully vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine were 90% less likely to get COVID-19.
Learn more here.
CDC Urges Families to Get Their Kids Caught Up on Recommended Vaccines for a Safer Return to School
The CDC is urging school systems and local governments to help families prepare for their child’s return to school safely by recommending that they get up-to-date on their vaccines. The CDC shared that they should remind families that children may have missed routine vaccinations during the pandemic. Children should be up to date on all recommended vaccinations. Learn more here.
COVID-19 Testing in Cambridge
As a reminder, COVID-19 testing is available 7 days a week to any Cambridge resident who wants to get tested. Testing is offered for free to people of all ages, including babies. You do not need to have symptoms or meet any other criteria to get tested. Learn more here.
COVID-19 Housing Stabilization Program
The COVID-19 Housing Stabilization Program provides short term financial assistance to individuals and families in Cambridge who are experiencing housing instability. New applicants are encouraged to apply. Learn more here.
Friday, May 7 Deadline for Small Business Grants
An additional $600,000 in grants for Cambridge small businesses is available through the City’s Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund and the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority. Grant applications will be accepted until Friday, May 7, 2021. Read more here.
Council on Aging Homebound Vaccination Program
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.
Translation Resources Available
Multilingual city resources and information on COVID-19 are available on the City's multilingual help page.
MA Vaccination Updates
Vaccine Eligibility Open to All Adults
All Massachusetts residents aged 16 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, people under the age of 18 can only receive the Pfizer vaccine and there are certain steps these individuals should take prior to scheduling their appointment. Learn more here.
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: Pre-register for mass vaccination sites at vaccinesignup.mass.gov. All state vaccination sites are online at vaxfinder.mass.gov/, or you can 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 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 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!
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 5pm. Information as of Thursday, April 22, 2021:
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 56,260
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 30,629
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
The Department of Public Health publishes a Daily COVID-19 Vaccine Report in addition to its Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Report. Information as of Wednesday, April 28, 2021:
Total doses administered: 5,912,233
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 6,958,240
Massachusetts is currently in Phase Three of the vaccine rollout. 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: 643,428
New Cases: 1,392
Total Deaths: 17,227
Tests Today: 102,432
Total Cases: 6,102
New Cases: 20
Total Deaths: 122
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.
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today. You can watch the Governor's latest updates here.
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 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
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.