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
Mass. schools report more than 60% increase in COVID cases
The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released data on Thursday that showed an increased case count of 62.6 percent compared to the previous week. This number includes positive cases from both students and faculty. From May 5 through May 11, the department recorded 13,380 new positive cases in students and 4,043 new positive cases in staff. These cases make up 1.45 percent of all students and 2.89 percent of all school employees. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3wuMsSB
Free rapid COVID tests at a pharmacy by showing your insurance card:
Most Massachusetts residents can show their insurance card to get free rapid antigen tests at the pharmacy desk of stores like CVS and Walgreens. Each insured person is eligible to get up to eight free tests each month, so a parent could obtain eight free tests for themselves and another eight for their child, as long as they provide both insurance cards. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3yrVAtx
CDC COVID Data Tracker Now Available in Spanish
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID Data Tracker is now available in Spanish. Find the latest data on COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and vaccinations at http://bit.ly/CDTspanish.
CHA Vaccine Center Closing May 20, 2022
The Cambridge Health Alliance Somerville Vaccine Center is closing on May 20, 2022. Until then, you can get a walk-in vaccination or make an appointment through MyCHArt or at bit.ly/3A19n7N.
Changes to Weekend COVID-19 Case Reporting
Effective May 7, 2022, the Cambridge Public Health Department has transitioned to updating case data on the Cambridge COVID-19 Data Center from Monday – Friday as opposed to the previous 7-day update. This results in a higher number of cases reported on Mondays, as the reporting period spans Saturday and Sunday. However, it does not change or lower the reported case count. Cases continue to be charted on the graphs according to their test date. This is the system that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) currently uses to update its public-facing data. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3MgF5Vy
COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics Every Wednesday
The Cambridge Public Health Department is offering weekly COVID-19 vaccine clinics for the Cambridge community:
- Wednesdays, April 6 – June 15
- 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Cambridge Public Health Department, 119 Windsor Street, 2nd Floor, Cambridge
- By appointment only
The clinics will offer free COVID-19 vaccines (first, second, and booster doses). Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be available to those who are eligible.
- *Appointments can be made at https://bit.ly/Camb-Color
- Residents ages 5 and older are eligible to be vaccinated.
- A parent or guardian must accompany children and teens who are under age 16.
- Teens aged 16 – 17 may come alone if a parent or guardian has completed a consent form via the online registration system.
- You do not need insurance, a social security number, or an ID.
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 (closing May 20)
- 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/
Natasha Warikoo at Harvard Book Store
On Monday, May 16, 2022 at 7:00 PM, the Harvard Book Store welcomes Natasha Warikoo, a Cambridge resident and Professor of Sociology at Tufts University, for a discussion of her new book Race at the Top: Asian Americans and Whites in Pursuit of the American Dream in Suburban Schools.
Learn more: https://www.harvard.com/event/natasha_warikoo/
Cambridge Announces New Small Business Relief Grant Program
The City of Cambridge announced the next round of small business relief grants today which will award over $2,000,000 to eligible Cambridge businesses. The new Small Business Relief Grant program, funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), will provide relief to local, non-franchise/chain businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses citywide will be able to apply for grant awards of $10,000 for allowable business expenses such as payroll, rent, personal protective equipment, utilities, inventory, and equipment. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3Nc8hwV
Lunch Meals Available to Seniors at the Council on Aging
As of Monday, May 2, on-site cooking returned to the Council on Aging (COA)! On Mondays and Wednesdays, adults ages 60 and older can enjoy freshly prepared lunch meals. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the Council on Aging will continue to offer nutritious heat-and-serve meals. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3FzJuQO
Job Fair on Wednesday, May 18
The Department of Human Service Programs’ Office of Workforce Development will hold a Job Fair on Wednesday, May 18, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway.
The job fair provides an opportunity for attendees to learn about job openings, meet with local employers, and network. Representatives from Maloney Properties, the Museum of Science, Peabody Companies, Tillinger’s Concierge, VPNE Aloha Solutions, Securitas, and Cambridge Youth Programs will be available at the job fair. Learn more: https://bit.ly/38iQntF
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 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 will continue to be offered one day per week during the following hours
- 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/3KoefZx
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. Information as of Thursday, May 12, 2022:
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 104,021
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 85,914
Residents with Booster: 54,212
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
Total doses administered: 14,634,266
Total booster doses administered: 3,024,530
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: 1,663,904
New Cases: 4,654
Total Deaths: 19,252
New PCR Tests: 59,517
Total Cases: 26,707
New Cases: 178
Total Deaths: 164
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.