Friday, February 4 COVID-19 & Legislative Updates

Dear all,

 

I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources as well as recent legislative news. 

 

The City of Cambridge is making 10,000 COVID-19 Rapid At-Home Test Kits and 20,000 High-Quality Masks available for the public to pick up at sites across the city. You can learn more here and read more on this below in the “Cambridge Updates” section.

 

Table of Contents

  • COVID-19 Testing Information
  • State Updates
  • National Updates
  • Cambridge Updates
  • MA Vaccination Updates
  • Vaccination Appointment Resources
  • Today’s Case Count
  • Legislative Updates
  • Mental Health Services and Resources
  • Where to Give

 

COVID-19 Testing Information

 

Upcoming Saturday Testing Dates

The City will offer Saturday testing on these 4 dates at the Christian Life Center (owned and operated by St. Paul AME Church), located at 85 Bishop Allen Drive. Testing on these Saturday dates will be from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

  • February 12, 2022
  • February 19, 2022
  • February 26, 2022
  • March 5, 2022

 

Cambridge Offering Testing 7 Days Per Week

People who live or work in Cambridge can now book an appointment and be tested for free at CIC Health’s 295 Third Street location in Cambridge any day of the week. To schedule an appointment, please visit cic-health.com/cambridge

 

Walk-In Cambridge COVID-19 Testing Sites

  • 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

 

Beginning Thursday, February 3, the testing site at the CambridgeSide mall will move to the G3 Level of the mall parking garage. Testing hours will remain the same (Mondays from 4-8 p.m. and Thursdays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.). G3 is accessible by the mall’s elevator and escalators. Residents can park in the garage and proceed to G3 by foot or walk into the mall and head down to Level G3. Learn more at cambridgema.gov/covid19/testing.

 

State COVID-19 Testing

To find a COVID-19 testing site in Massachusetts, visit mass.gov/GetTested

 

Home PCR Tests for Adults 

Lab-based PCR testing with home collection is available at no cost to all eligible Massachusetts adults. Kits are reserved for adults (18+) who live or work in a congregate setting, are experiencing symptoms, have recently been in contact with someone with COVID-19, or who have otherwise been recommended for testing. Please visit the Pixel by LabCorp for Massachusetts webpage at t.ly/vL4j for details, and to request a test kit.

 

State Updates 

 

2-1-1 Day Next Friday

On Friday, February 11 at 1:00 PM, Mass211 is holding a 2-1-1 Day celebration on Facebook Live with Lieutenant Governor Polito, Health and Human Services Secretary Sudders, and Senate President Spilka. Mass211 has answered over 1 million pandemic-related calls. The event will be at https://facebook.com/MA211/

 

National Updates

 

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Fully Authorized by FDA

Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine has received full approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. Moderna’s is the second Covid-19 vaccine to receive full approval from the FDA. Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, Comirnaty, was approved for use in people age 16 and older in August. The Pfizer vaccine is also authorized for use in individuals ages 5 to 15. For more information please visit: https://cnn.it/3glz5wo

 

Pfizer Submits Data on COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids Under 5 to FDA

Pfizer and BioNTech submitted data to the US Food and Drug Administration for authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months through 4 years old on Tuesday. While the vaccine for children under age 5 is expected to be a three-dose vaccine series, the FDA asked the companies to submit data on the first two doses as part of a “rolling submission” process. If authorization is granted, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would be the first COVID-19 vaccine available for pediatric populations under 5 years of age. For more information please visit: https://cnet.co/3HumRgA

 

CDC Study Shows People Who Always Wore Masks Indoors Were Less Likely To Test Positive for COVID-19

A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study shows that people who reported always wearing masks or respirators in indoor public settings in California were less likely to test positive for COVID-19 compared with those who reported not wearing a face covering. Learn more at bit.ly/MMWR7106.

 

Cambridge Updates

 

Cambridge Announces $2.5 Million Restaurant and Nightlife Relief Grant Program

The City of Cambridge announced a new Restaurant and Nightlife Relief Grant program today, which will award $2,500,000 to eligible Cambridge venues. These grants will provide relief to local, non-franchise cafes, restaurants, and entertainment venues heavily impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Applications will be accepted from February 3 through February 28, 2022, at 8:00 p.m. For more information, please visit https://bit.ly/3HsY5O9.

 

City of Cambridge to Make 10,000 COVID-19 Rapid At-Home Test Kits and 20,000 High-Quality Masks Available for the Public to Pick Up at Sites Across the City

The City of Cambridge has announced that, starting tomorrow, Saturday, February 5, 10,000 COVID-19 rapid at-home test kits and 20,000 high-quality KF94 masks will be available for the public to pick up at the Main Library, City Hall, and multiple Fire Stations across the City during select dates and times while supplies last. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3oIwgKr

 

Vaccine & Booster Clinics in February

Cambridge is holding vaccine and booster clinics on the G3 Level of the CambridgeSide mall parking garage (not a drive-thru clinic) on:

  • Thursday, February 10 & 17 from 11 AM to 3 PM
  • Monday, February 7 & 14 from 4 PM to 8 PM

Appointments are available and walk-ins will be accepted. Learn more: camb.ma/3GkDPN3

 

Pop-Up Vaccine Clinics 2/7 & 3/2

Boston Medical Center is holding pop-up vaccine clinics at the Prospect Hill Academy Middle & High School Library at 50 Essex St in Cambridge. The first dose is on Monday, February 7 from 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM and the second dose is on Wednesday, March 2 from 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM. Kids ages 5-12 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

 

CHA Vaccine Center Open for Walk-Ins

The CHA Somerville Vaccine Center is now accepting walk-in patients again, subject to availability. They are also hosting special Saturday clinics on 2/5, 2/19 and 3/5. You can make an appointment through MyCHArt or at bit.ly/3A19n7N.

 

Where to Get a COVID-19 Booster Shot 

This is a list of a few places that we are familiar with that are offering COVID-19 boosters in/near Cambridge for eligible MA residents: 

  • Cambridge Health Alliance
    • 176 Somerville Ave, Somerville
    • Mon & Tues: 11:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.   
    • Wed, Thu, & Fri: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • To pre-register: 
  • CVS (Appointments required)
  • Star Market (Walk-ins or appointments)
    • 699 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge 
    • Schedule here: bit.ly/3uujXTv

Cambridge Offers Affordable Homeownership Lottery for First-Time Homebuyers

The City of Cambridge is offering nine new affordable condominiums for sale to income-eligible first-time homebuyers through a lottery process. These affordable condos are located at Inman Crossing Condominiums, 305 Webster Avenue in Inman Square, and Saint James Place Condominiums, 7 Beech Street near Porter Square. City staff will host a virtual information session on Tuesday, February 15, 2022, from 6:00-7:00 p.m. to provide an overview of the lottery, eligibility requirements, how to apply, and answer questions about this opportunity. 

 For more information, visit www.cambridgema.gov/HomebuyerLottery

 

Daily Table customers can now use their SNAP benefits to order their groceries online for in-store pickup or delivery

Those using EBT cards for food can now order groceries online from the Daily Table. For more information please visit: https://dailytable.org/programs/#snap

 

City of Cambridge Scholarship Program Applications Can Be Submitted Completely Online by March 7th

Applications for the 2022 City of Cambridge Scholarship are currently being accepted. The fund provides financial assistance to college-bound high school seniors and other Cambridge residents who wish to pursue post-secondary education. Applications can be submitted at: Cambridgema.gov/cityscholarship.

 

MA Vaccination Updates

 

High-Capacity Vaccination Sites in Boston, Roxbury, Lynn, Taunton

Eligible residents aged 5 and older can receive their primary series of COVID-19 vaccinations and residents age 12+ can receive their booster shots at these locations:

  • Fenway Park,  4 Jersey Street, Boston, MA
  • Roxbury: Melnea Cass Recreation Complex, 120 MLK Jr Blvd, Boston, MA
  • Roxbury: Whittier Street Health Center, 1290 Tremont Street, Roxbury, MA
  • Lynn: North Shore Community College, Modular Building at 300 Broad Street, Lynn, MA
  • Taunton: Taunton COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic, 2005 Bay Street, Taunton, MA

Walk-ins are accepted and appointments are available at vaxfinder.mass.gov. 

 

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): 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: 

  • 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

 

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, February 3, 2022:

 

Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 102,250

Fully Vaccinated Residents: 84,297

Residents with Booster: 49,447

 

 

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 Friday, February 4, 2022:

 

Total doses administered: 13,668,021

Total booster doses administered: 2,713,907

Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 16,045,040

 

 

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.

 

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. Questions can be submitted to COVID-19-Vaccine-Plan-MA@mass.gov.

 

Today’s Case Count 

 

Massachusetts

Total Cases: 1,502,248

New Cases: 4,195

Total Deaths: 21,755

New PCR Tests: 91,672

 

Cambridge

Total Cases: 18,709

New Cases: 50

Total Deaths: 139

 

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

 

Legislative Updates

 

Signed into law: Tobin Montessori and Vassal Lane Upper Schools Home Rule Petition 

Yesterday, Governor Baker signed H3996 An Act authorizing the city of Cambridge to use certain land for general municipal purposes and the installation of subsurface geothermal wells into law. I filed this Home Rule petition earlier this session. It is required to complete the Tobin Montessori and Vassal Lane Upper Schools Project in Cambridge. 

 

Bills I filed that are moving forward

This past Wednesday was “Joint Rule 10” day, a deadline for legislative committees to decide which action to take on bills before them: release with a favorable report or an adverse report, send to study, or extend. Several bills that I filed were released with favorable reports, meaning that they will continue to move through the legislative process. They include: 

 

Anti-poverty legislation:

  • H199 An Act to lift kids out of deep poverty
  • H200 An Act providing immediate childcare assistance to homeless families

 

Housing legislation:

    • H1385 An Act providing upstream homelessness prevention assistance to families, youth, and adults
  • H202 An Act improving emergency housing assistance for children and families experiencing homelessness

 

Behavioral health legislation: 

  • H1057 An Act relative to collaborative care
  • H1060 An Act relative to removing barriers to non-opioid pain management
  • H1061 An Act to strengthen and expand access to behavioral healthcare
  • H1062 An Act for supportive care for serious mental illness
  • H203 An Act relative to transparency in behavioral health boarding

 

Common-sense gun safety legislation: 

  • H1529 An Act relative to firearm safety and harassment prevention orders
  • H2437 An Act relative to crime gun data reporting and analysis
  • H2505 An Act relative to firearms in certain public buildings

 

District-focused legislation: 

  • H3858 An Act providing for electric vehicle charging stations in the city of Cambridge
  • H4282 An Act authorizing the city of Cambridge to impose a real estate transfer fee

 

These bills are in addition to 16 other bills I filed that had already been reported out of committee favorably. Additionally, 24 bills that I filed received extension orders and will continue to be evaluated by their current committee in the coming months. 

 

 

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 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.

 

Sincerely,  

Marjorie

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