I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources as well as recent legislative news.
Thank you to everyone who braved the weather to join my Second Annual Winter Celebration Diaper Drive on Saturday morning. It was a pleasure to connect and share coffee, hot chocolate, doughnuts, and cookies with members of the Cambridge community. A special thank you to those of you who were able to contribute diapers. If you missed the event and would like to donate diapers, please drop them off at the Cambridge Community Center at 5 Callender Street, Monday through Friday, 9AM - 6PM.
I also encourage you to visit cambridgecc.org and learn more about the CCC’s programming and its efforts to become the first Resilience Hub in the Northeast. As a trusted community gathering space and service provider, they are well situated to meet the increased needs in our community while simultaneously improving the physical state of their building in order to become a Resilience Hub. You can support this exciting project by donating at bit.ly/3FeTeQA.
Table of Contents
- State Updates
- National Updates
- Cambridge Updates
- COVID-19 Testing Information
- MA Vaccination Updates
- DPH Resources on COVID-19
- This Week’s Case Count
- Mental Health Services and Resources
- Where to Give
COVID Cases Rise Along with Viral Wastewater Levels
State health officials reported more than 7,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past week, an increase of 48 percent. In addition, COVID hospitalizations and the positive test average are rising, along with flu cases. Data from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority show that the 7-day average in the southern region is up 105 percent since mid-November and up 135 percent in the northern region’s. Learn more: bit.ly/3W42bmF.
Boston Will Be Establishing 11 Wastewater COVID-19 Testing Sites
The city will be sampling water from the sites on a weekly basis to help the city monitor the appearance of new variants of the disease. The city is using $3.9 million in federal funding to pay for the project. COVID-19 levels in Eastern Massachusetts wastewater have been on the uptick in recent weeks. To learn more: https://wbur.fm/3VT0455
FDA Authorizes Omicron Vaccines for Children as Young as 6 Months
On December 8, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized updated COVID-19 vaccines that target the Omicron variant for children as young as 6 months old. The eligibility rules for this age group vary on whether children received Moderna’s or Pfizer’s original vaccines as their primary series. The CDC needs to sign off on the FDA’s decision before healthcare providers can start administering the shots. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3HosuzY.
Vaccine Clinic December 15, $75 Debit Cards Available
The City of Cambridge announced that it is offering a $75 debit card to people who live or work in Cambridge who get vaccinated for COVID-19 (first dose, second dose, or booster) at the city-sponsored clinic on Thursday, December 15, from 4-8 p.m., at CambridgeSide, 100 Cambridgeside place. People are strongly encouraged to pre-register for the clinic at camb.ma/signup as walk-up availability is limited. The City of Cambridge is funding the debit cards through American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Learn more: camb.ma/3UJQ5y3.
Cambridge Public Health Department Reports Rise in COVID-19 Cases
Since Thanksgiving, Cambridge has seen an increase in COVID-19 infections in the community and in the public schools. Confirmed cases and hospitalizations have also been rising in Middlesex County over the past week, causing the county’s COVID-19 community level designation from the CDC to move from “low” to “moderate.” Learn more: bit.ly/3Ph9Uf6.
COVID-19 Testing Information
Cambridge Appointment-Only Testing
Appointment-only testing, provided through a partnership with CIC Health, is available 7 days per week to people who live or work in Cambridge. Testing at CIC Health’s 295 Third Street location is available during the following hours:
- Monday - Friday, from 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
- Saturday & Sunday, from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Appointments can be booked online at cic-health.com/cambridge, or assistance is available from CIC’s Customer Service Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 877-280-2937.
State COVID-19 Testing
Please visit mass.gov/GetTested.
Home PCR Tests for Adults
Please visit t.ly/vL4j for details and to request a test kit.
MA Vaccination Updates
Vaccines and Boosters for Children
As a reminder, everyone ages 6 months or older is eligible to be vaccinated and everyone ages 5 years or older is eligible to be boosted. Children who have received a two-dose primary series of any vaccine and those who have received boosters are eligible to get the updated bivalent booster as long as two months have passed since their last dose.
- 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.
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 115,920
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 91,798
Residents with 1 Booster: 62,041
Residents with 2 Boosters: 29,777
Total doses administered: 17,140,378
Total first booster doses administered: 3,422,831
Total second booster doses administered: 1,434,344
DPH Resources on COVID-19
COVID-19 FAQs: https://bit.ly/3aLrW99
This Week’s COVID-19 Case Count
Please note that these are only the reported cases. The actual case counts are underreported due to people using rapid tests at home.
Total Cases: 1,942,303
New Cases: 7,499
Total Deaths: 20,972
New PCR Tests: 102,808
Total Cases: 34,145
New Cases: 22
Total Deaths: 179
State interactive data dashboard: bit.ly/3Pe3hJk
Harvard COVID dashboard: bit.ly/3z8sa3C.
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
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
Thanks to everyone who has generously contributed to many organizations serving vulnerable people locally, nationally, and globally. If you are able to donate, please visit https://bit.ly/3fyEWkw for places serving those most affected by COVID-19 and https://bit.ly/3SMFeCU for 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.