Wednesday March 31 COVID-19 Updates

Dear all,
I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
State Updates
MBTA Working to Restore Service Cuts
In response to widespread criticism of its service cuts, MBTA leadership announced this week that it would work to restore recent cuts to subway and bus service. The T is set to receive $845 million in aid from the American Rescue Plan. Read more here.
I am thankful that the Governor has responded to the overwhelming opposition to try to dismantle the MBTA in the midst of the pandemic. You can read a letter I wrote to him on March 18th in opposition of MBTA service cuts here.
National Updates
Pfizer Says Vaccine Effective in Younger Teens
Pfizer and BioNTech announced today that a Phase 3 trial showed their COVID-19 vaccine “demonstrated 100% efficacy and robust antibody responses” in participants aged 12 to 15 and said they plan to soon submit the trial data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency to request expansion of the vaccine’s emergency authorizations to include that age group. Read more here.
MA Vaccination Updates
Weekly Vaccine Dose Allocation Update
This week, the Commonwealth received 382,980 first and second doses as part of the state allocation. These numbers include a one-time shipment of 29,800 J&J vaccines for providers. Another 10,000 J&J vaccines will be set aside to utilize for the homebound vaccination program that was announced last week, for a total of 40,000 J&J.
This week, first doses and second dose state allocations (total doses), were distributed among providers as follows:
  • Health systems and health care providers (excluding community health centers): 133,210
  • Mass vaccination locations: 106,300
  • Regional Collaboratives and Local Boards of Health: 84,660
  • Community Health Centers: 28,950
  • Retail pharmacies (non-CVS) state allocation: 13,090
  • Mobile Clinics supporting long-term care facilities, congregate care, affordable/low-income senior housing and homebound individuals: 14,670
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 info@eldercare.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 Fridays at 4pm. Information as of March 26, 2021:
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 26,618 (24%)
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 16,172 (14%)
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 Wednesday, March 31, 2021:
Total doses administered: 3,554,711
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 4,201,960
Vaccination Timeline
Massachusetts is currently in the middle of Phase Two of the vaccine rollout. For more details and updates on vaccination priorities, please visit mass.gov/CovidVaccine.
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.
Cook for a Cause with Margaret Fuller House
The Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House (MFNH) is partnering with local pop-up restaurateur and chef Charles Isadore for a virtual cooking class on Friday, April 23, 2021 at 6:00 PM. Tickets are $35 and include a full cooking class with a vegetarian-friendly pasta dish. Proceeds directly support the MFNH food pantry. Learn more and buy tickets here.
Cambridge 2020 Parking Permits Extended
2020 Resident and Visitor Parking Permits have been extended and will be valid through May 31, 2021. If you need to submit a 2021 renewal application, you should allow 5-7 weeks for delivery.
Virtual Candidate Forums for Interim Superintendent Finalists
The Cambridge School Committee is hosting Virtual Candidate Forums between 5:00 and 8:00 PM next Thursday, April 8, 2021 for the three finalists for the position of Interim Superintendent of Schools. Panels of students, family representatives, and educational staff will ask questions of the finalists. Members of the community can watch the forums live via Zoom. 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.
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today. You can watch the Governor’s latest updates here.
Today’s Case Count
Total Cases: 598,177
New Cases: 2,252
Total Deaths: 16,844
Tests Today: 115,453
Total Cases: 5,531
New Cases: 23
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 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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