I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources as well as recent legislative news.
We are sending this newsletter early due to the Veterans Day holiday.
Racial Inequities in Maternal Health Commission Meeting & Listening Session Monday
The Commission on Racial Inequities in Maternal Health, which I co-chair in my role as House Chair of Public Health, is holding a public meeting and listening session focused on the North Shore/South Shore/South Coast/Cape Cod regions on Monday, November 15. The meeting will begin at 5 PM and the listening session at 6 PM. We are especially interested in testimony from people of color, including maternal health practitioners, birthing people, birthing partners, mothers, fathers, and other family members affected by maternal mortality or severe maternal morbidity. This will be used to inform a report and policy and budget recommendations. This is the final listening session. Please take 5 minutes to visit bit.ly/MaternalHealthEquity1115, sign up/submit testimony, and spread the word.
Table of Contents
- COVID-19 Testing Information
- State Updates
- National Updates
- Cambridge Updates
- MA Vaccination Updates
- Today’s Case Count
- Legislative Updates
- 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 Monday, Nov. 1, the testing site at the CambridgeSide mall has returned to walk-in testing inside the mall. 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.
New State Webpage About COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids 5-11
The Commonwealth has launched a new webpage at mass.gov/COVIDVaccineKids to provide information on vaccinating children ages 5-11. The page covers vaccine safety, where and how to get the vaccine, and how to prepare. Parents and guardians can search for nearby locations at vaxfinder.mass.gov or VaxAbilities.com for children with sensory and/or other accommodation needs. Several locations such as the Discovery Museum in Acton, Boston’s Museum of Science, Springfield Museum, EcoTarium Museum, and others will be holding vaccine clinics for children ages 5-11.
Fuel Assistance Programs Available
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has launched an education campaign to raise customer awareness of impending higher electricity and gas prices and the available assistance or budgeting plans. Winter shutoff moratoriums take effect November 15, but customers can take steps now to minimize the debt they could accrue. The new and expanded assistance programs include LIHEAP heating assistance, COVID-19 rental/utility assistance, balance forgiveness programs, deferred payment arrangements and budget billing. Visit mass.gov/ago/fuelassistance or all the AGO consumer hotline at 617-727-8400 to learn more.
International Travel Restrictions to U.S. Lifted
The COVID-19 pandemic travel ban to the United States from several countries including Canada, Mexico, and most of Europe has been lifted. Travelers will need to provide proof of vaccination with any of the vaccines approved by the World Health Organization. Learn more at wbur.fm/3H2YTcE.
Nearly 1 Million Children Ages 5-11 Have Been Vaccinated
Approximately 900,000 children ages 5 to 11 in the United States have received their first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine since its authorization for that age group last week. The Secretaries of Education and Health and Human Services earlier this week sent letters to school leaders, encouraging them to set up vaccine clinics on campuses, to distribute high quality information about the vaccines to students’ families and to hold Q-and-A sessions for parents with local pediatricians. Learn more at n.pr/3Ca7o24.
COVID Vaccine Clinic at King Open School TONIGHT UNTIL 7:30 and 12/1
There is still time for students, families, and the community to get their free Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot before 7:30 this evening at the King Open School located at 850 Cambridge Street. The next clinic is Wednesday, Dec. 1 from 3:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Flu vaccines, including FluMist and high-dose vaccines, will also be offered. Nurses will be available to speak with anyone who has COVID-19 or flu vaccine questions. Read more: https://bit.ly/3Bry7Xe
CHA Vaccinating Kids 5+
As of Monday, November 8, 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.
CRLS Students Say “Cool People Get Vaccinated”
Hoping to inspire their peers, students at Cambridge Rindge and Latin talk about why they got vaccinated against COVID-19 in a PSA titled “Cool People Get Vaccinated.” Watch it at bit.ly/31nn6tJ.
Where to Get a COVID-19 Booster Shot
COVID-19 boosters are available at the following locations in/near Cambridge for eligible MA residents:
- Cambridge Health Alliance (Walk-ins or appointments)
- CVS (Appointments required)
- 624 Mass. Ave (Central Square)
- Schedule here: https://bit.ly/3mgBACv.
- Star Market (Walk-ins or appointments)
- 699 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge
- Schedule here: https://bit.ly/3uujXTv.
- Search by zip-code for other locations https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/
Housed in Cambridge Drop-In Hours on Monday
The Housed in Cambridge team is holding drop-in hours at the Main Library on Monday, November 15 from 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM. Housed in Cambridge is a citywide campaign designed to educate and inform residents on housing opportunities and housing related resources and services. Learn more at https://camb.ma/3bStCuN.
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): Atrius Health will start scheduling vaccination appointments for children on November 12. Vaccination clinics will begin on Monday, November 15. Beginning November 12, 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 4, 2021:
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 87,855
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 78,058
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
Total doses administered: 10,550,122
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 12,525,220
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
COVID-19 boosters are available for eligible MA residents. See if you’re eligible to receive one at mass.gov/BoosterCheck, and 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: 810,346
New Cases: 1,745
Total Deaths: 18,739
New Tests: 90,440
Total Cases: 7914
New Cases: 14
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.
Bills I have filed that are being heard next week
7 of my bills are scheduled for a public hearing next week: An Act relative to firearms in certain public buildings, which I filed alongside Representative Liz Miranda, An Act relative to the reckless discharge of firearms, An Act authorizing the voluntary disavowal of eligibility to purchase a firearm, An Act making firearm owners civilly liable for damage caused by lost or stolen firearms, An Act relative to crime gun data reporting and analysis, An Act requiring licensed gun owners to submit a yearly affidavit, and An Act relative to ghost guns. The hearing schedule is available at malegislature.gov, where hearings will be livestreamed and available for viewing after they conclude.
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.