I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
MA Leads in COVID-19 Vaccinations
Today, Governor Baker toured the COVID-19 vaccination site at Encore Boston Harbor and provided an update on COVID-19 vaccinations in the Commonwealth. About 2.6 million people in Massachusetts are fully vaccinated, around 3.9 million people are fully or partially vaccinated, and this week the Commonwealth received roughly 380,000 first and second doses as part of the state allocation. Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in regards to vaccine distribution, as we are number one in administering both first and second doses per capita among all states that have more than 5 million people.
He also shared that most of the Commonwealth’s mass vaccination sites will begin accepting walk-in appointments. You should visit vaxfinder.mass.gov to find a location near you, and book an appointment or view details about walk-in appointments.
You can watch the Governor’s latest updates here.
Lawmakers Say It’s time to Shift Vaccine Distribution to the Local Level
A recent I-Team investigation showcased that 20% or less of Massachusetts residents received their COVID vaccine at one of the mass vaccination sites. “People go get vaccinations and medicine from people they know and trust. We know this and the Governor knows this,” State Representative Marjorie Decker said. “We are not in a position to waste any public dollars which should be reinvested in overall wellness and care and strengthening the public health system.”
After this news, Governor Baker announced that he plans to close four of the seven mass vaccination site locations by the end of June 2021.
CDC Data Shows that New England Leads the Nation in COVID Vaccination Rates
CDC data shows that Massachusetts and other New England states lead the nation in the rate of people who have gotten at least their first shot of one of the vaccines. Read more here.
CVS Accepting Walk-in COVID Vaccine Appointments in MA
CVS shared that it is now accepting walk-in COVID-19 vaccine appointments across the nation, including 389 locations across the Commonwealth. Read more here.
MA will Soon Allow Walk-in Appointments at COVID Mass Vaccination Sites
The Administration announced that the mass vaccination sites across Massachusetts will soon allow walk-in vaccination appointments. Read more here.
Biden Aims to Vaccinate 70% of American Adults by July 4, 2021
President Joe Biden announced yesterday that he hopes to vaccinate at least one COVID shot to 70% of adult Americans by July 4, 2021. Read more here.
Biden Administration Supports Lifting Patent Protections to Help Produce More COVID Vaccines Across the Globe
The Biden Administration announced today that they will be supporting waiving intellectual property protections for COVID vaccines in order to help international efforts to suspend patent rules. Read more here.
The Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program (MSYEP) in Cambridge
MSYEP in Cambridge is a paid 6 week summer jobs program for teens ages 14 through the summer after high school who are residents in the city. MSYEP will run from Tuesday, July 6, 2021 to Friday, August 13, 2021 and offer a variety of work experiences. Apply online through Friday, May 14, 2021. Read more here.
Free Semi-formal wear for CRLS Seniors
Free semi-formal wear is being provided for Cambridge Rindge & Latin School (CRLS) Seniors at The Spot on May 16 and May 17, and CRLS on May 18 to May 20 for their big event at Starlight Square on June 4. Students can register for appointments here.
Reminder: 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 this Friday, May 7, 2021. Read more here.
Reminder: National Small Business Week Webinars and Events in Cambridge Sunday, May 2 to Saturday, May 8
This week, from Sunday, May 2, 2021 to Saturday, May 8, 2021 is National Small Business Week. Throughout the week, join the Cambridge Community Development Department for webinars and other events to provide resources to local small businesses and entrepreneurs. Learn more here.
Fuel Assistance Program Accepting Applications Until Friday, May 28
Beginning in July 2021, the utility payment moratorium will end. If you need assistance paying your heating bills, the Fuel Assistance Program is accepting applications through Friday, May 28, 2021. Read more here.
Cambridge to Advance to Phase IV, Step 1 of the Reopening Plan
Cambridge will follow the same schedule as the Commonwealth and advance to Phase IV, Step 1 of the Administration’s Reopening Plan on Thursday, May 6, 2021. The city will increase gathering limits for event venues and in public settings to 100 indoors and 150 outdoors at that time. Read 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.
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
Reminder: Upcoming Vaccine Clinics in the City of Cambridge
The City of Cambridge’s is offering upcoming vaccine clinics using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. These clinics are free and open to all individuals 18 years of age and older who live and work in Cambridge. Appointments aren’t needed and IDs aren’t required. Learn more here.
Vaccine clinics locations and hours are as follows:
- CambridgeSide Mall: 100 Cambridgeside Place in East Cambridge. Clinic located on the 2nd Floor above the Food Court, next to H&M Men. Parking available in the garage; entrance located on First St.
- On Thursday, May 6, 2021, from 10 AM to 4 PM
- Reservoir Church: 170 Rindge Avenue in North Cambridge.
- On Friday, May 7, 2021, from 9 AM to 2 PM and 4 PM to 8 PM
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 email@example.com.
- 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
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 65,530
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 35,987
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
Total doses administered: 6,404,145
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 7,691,560
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: 649,855
New Cases: 888
Total Deaths: 17,306
Tests Today: 85,569
Total Cases: 6,157
New Cases: 4
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.
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:
Helpline for People Who Abuse
There is a new Helpline for People Who Abuse that launched on April 15, 2021, that came out of CARES ACT funding for COVID-19. The Helpline is open to any resident of the Commonwealth, it is the first in the nation of its kind, and is based out of Western Massachusetts. You can find more information here.
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.