I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources as well as recent legislative news.
Table of Contents
- State Updates
- National Updates
- Cambridge Updates
- COVID-19 Testing Information
- MA Vaccination Updates
- Vaccination Appointment Resources
- Today’s Case Count
- Infant Formula Shortage Updates
- Legislative Updates
- Recent Press
- Mental Health Services and Resources
- Where to Give
Limited Supply of Monkeypox Vaccines Available by Appointment at Fenway Health
Fenway Health now has a limited supply of monkeypox vaccines available to the public by appointment. Per Department of Public Health requirements, no walk-in appointments are allowed for monkeypox vaccinations. Please call 617-927-6060 between 9 AM – 5 PM Monday through Friday to schedule a monkeypox vaccine appointment. These vaccines are currently available to individuals who live or work in Massachusetts who meet eligibility requirements established by the CDC (https://bit.ly/3z3cvkO).
CDC Endorses Novavax COVID Vaccine
The CDC has endorsed the two-dose Novavax COVID-19 vaccine as a primary series for use in adults ages 18 years and older, as recommended by its advisory committee. Authorized by the FDA last week, the protein-based vaccine offers an option to individuals who may have an allergic reaction to or prefer to not receive an mRNA vaccine. The Novavax vaccine will be made available in the coming weeks. Learn more: https://n.pr/3zqyhjZ.
Cambridge Vaccine Clinics Wednesdays through August 10
The Cambridge Public Health Department offers vaccine clinics for individuals aged 5 and older on Wednesdays from 2:00 – 4:00 PM at 119 Windsor St, 2nd floor. The last clinic will be on August 10, 2022. Register for an appointment at https://bit.ly/3RSIq00 or call 617-665-3826 with questions.
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, children aged 6 months and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and children ages 5 years and older are eligible for a COVID-19 booster 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: 106,213
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 86,529
Residents with Booster: 56,787
Total doses administered: 15,139,343
Total booster doses administered: 3,147,699
Total second booster doses administered: 623,536
DPH Resources on COVID-19 and Monkeypox
COVID-19 FAQs: https://bit.ly/3aLrW99
Monkeypox information: mass.gov/monkeypox
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. According to the CDC, the COVID-19 community level in Middlesex County is Medium.
Total Cases: 1,793,437
New Cases: 10,250
Total Deaths: 19,860
New PCR Tests: 135,653
Total Cases: 31,132
New Cases: 58
Total Deaths: 167
State interactive data dashboard: bit.ly/3Pe3hJk
Harvard COVID dashboard: bit.ly/3z8sa3C.
Infant Formula Shortage Updates
Five Operation Fly Formula Flights Scheduled for This Week
There were five Operation Fly Formula flights currently scheduled for the week of July 18, projected to import more than 6.8 million 8-ounce bottle equivalents of infant formula to the United States. By July 24, Operation Fly Formula flights will have completed 53 flights and imported more than 61 million 8-ounce bottle equivalents of infant formula. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3ISLIfL
MA Legislature Approves Climate Bill
On Thursday, the Massachusetts Legislature passed H5060 An Act driving clean energy and offshore wind. This bill bolsters clean energy production by incentivizing the development of offshore wind, creating thousands of jobs and additional economic benefits in the process. It also modernizes our energy grid, advances solar energy production, incentivizes the purchase of electric vehicles, increases the number of charging stations, and more.
I am grateful that this bill includes several provisions from the 100% Clean Act that I filed with Representative Sean Garballey, such as:
- Requiring 100% of new car sales to be electric vehicles by 2035
- Electrifying MBTA & regional transit authority buses
- Requiring new homes and businesses to be built with clean, electric heating & appliances (starting in 10 communities)
MA Legislature Approves $52.7 billion FY23 Budget
On Monday, the Legislature approved a $52.7 billion budget for fiscal year 2023 (FY23). I want to thank Speaker Ron Mariano, House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz, and the budget conference committee for their commitment to negotiating an FY23 budget that uplifts individuals & families across the Commonwealth. I will follow up next week with an email focusing on overall budget investments as well as some personal highlights that I am grateful were included in the FY23 budget and am proud to have led on and advocated for.
Massachusetts has lowest bottle deposit rate, new study finds
By Kate Selig, Boston Globe
When it comes to returning empty bottles and cans to grocery stores or redemption centers to get back a nickel deposit, Massachusetts residents lag behind their peers in other states with bottle bills.
The state has the lowest bottle redemption rate among the 10 states with bottle bills, according to a new report from the Container Recycling Institute, a California-based nonprofit
“There’s nobody debating the importance of this and the impact that it has on our water, our soil, and our own health,” said state Representative Marjorie Decker, a Cambridge Democrat, who is helping lead efforts to expand the bottle bill. “We should be leading the way.”
Read more: https://bit.ly/3oqs5lU
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
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.