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
- Mental Health Services and Resources
- Where to Give
Many Mass. residents aren’t getting their COVID-19 booster shots
The Department of Public Health, in a report released Thursday, said that only about 55 percent of the state’s 5.3 million fully vaccinated people have gotten their boosters. “It is very important for people who are eligible to get boosted,” said Dr. Sabrina Assoumou, an assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and an attending physician in the section of Infectious Diseases at Boston Medical Center. “You need that booster to get to that higher level of protection.” Learn more: https://bit.ly/3wD338c.
Massachusetts to Begin Distribution of Premium Payments to Low-Income Workers
This week, the state announced the start of distribution of the first round of $500 payments for low-income workers under the COVID-19 Essential Employee Premium Pay Program. The payments will be mailed to approximately 500,000 people over the next week. This program was created to develop eligibility parameters to ensure this critical support is provided quickly to workers across the Commonwealth. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3qxiEm4
Free Treatment Options for COVID-19
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has published information on the free treatments for COVID-19 that are available for people who are at increased risk of severe disease, test positive for COVID-19 and have any symptoms, even mild ones (such as runny nose or cough). They can help prevent hospitalization and reduce your chance for severe disease and the sooner you start treatment, the better. The information is available at mass.gov/CovidTreatments.
Moderna says its low-dose COVID shots work for kids under 6
Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine works on infants, toddlers, and preschoolers the company announced Wednesday — and if regulators agree it could mean a chance to finally start vaccinating the littlest kids by summer. Moderna said in the coming weeks it would ask regulators in the U.S. and Europe to authorize two small-dose shots for youngsters under 6. The company also is seeking to have larger-dose shots cleared for older children and teens in the U.S. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3NqJsye
White House Hosting Webinar on COVID and Clean Indoor Air March 29
The White House is hosting a virtual public event on March 29 at 12:30 PM titled “Let’s Clear the Air: An OSTP Discussion on COVID and Clean Indoor Air.” The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy will discuss the science behind clean indoor air and why people should care. Learn more and register at https://t.co/pRasUz9rP6.
CHA Vaccine Center Open for Walk-Ins
The CHA Somerville Vaccine Center is now accepting walk-in patients again, subject to availability. 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
- CVS (Appointments required)
- 624 Mass. Ave (Central Square)
- Schedule here: bit.ly/3mgBACv.
- Star Market (Walk-ins or appointments)
- 699 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge
- Schedule here: bit.ly/3uujXTv.
- Search by zip-code for other locations https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/
Fuel Assistance Program
The Fuel Assistance Program assists low-income households with winter heating costs between November 1 and April 30. Renters and homeowners in both cities are eligible to apply if they meet the federal income guidelines. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3KN9byI
Apply to CYP Pre-Teen / Middle School Summer Programs:
Cambridge Youth Programs (CYP) Summer Programs offer safe and fun programming for pre-teens and middle schoolers to connect with peers, build leadership skills, and explore a range of enriching activities in an inclusive environment. CYP Summer Programs are open to rising 4-8th graders. Programs will run Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. during three 2-week sessions. Applications will be accepted through DHSP’s Trax registration system through Friday, April 15th. Learn more: https://bit.ly/37EIbmI
Apply to the DHSP Community Schools Summer Camp Lottery
DHSP Community Schools Summer Camps offer a range of educational and recreational activities in a safe, nurturing, and inclusive environment. Camp activities are designed to develop children’s social and emotional growth and build healthy relationships. Applications are accepted through Friday, April 1. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3JkkY7d
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:
- Sunday, from 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
- Monday – Friday, from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
- Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Appointments can be booked online at www.cic-health.com/cambridge or assistance is available from CIC’s Customer Service Team at email@example.com or by calling 877-280-2937.
Cambridge Walk-In Testing
Walk-in testing sites are open during the following hours:
- Monday, from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at CambridgeSide in the Parking Garage on Level G3.
- This will remain walk-up only, not drive-through. Level G3 is accessible by the CambridgeSide’s elevator and escalators. Visitors can park in the garage and proceed to Level G3. Parking will be validated. The Parking Garage entrance is located on CambridgeSide Place.
- Wednesday, from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at 2254 Massachusetts Ave, St. John the Evangelist Church.
For more information please visit: https://bit.ly/3vH5wOL
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.
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): Parents can schedule an appointment directly throughMyHealth 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, March 24, 2022:
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 103,584
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 85,251
Residents with Booster: 52,304
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
Total doses administered: 14,072,349
Total booster doses administered: 2,912,522
Total cumulative doses shipped to MA: 16,199,670
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.
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: 1,558,358
New Cases: 1,109
Total Deaths: 18,969
New PCR Tests: 60,516
Total Cases: 21,098
New Cases: 41
Total Deaths: 161
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.
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.