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
- Recent Press
- Mental Health Services and Resources
- Where to Give
Telehealth Program for COVID-19 Treatment
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is now providing a free telehealth program for residents 18 years and older who have tested positive for COVID-19 and who are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms. Residents can connect with a trained health care clinician for a video consultation to determine if they are eligible for Paxlovid, a pill that can reduce the risk for severe symptoms and hospitalization by nearly 90 percent if taken within 5 days of symptom onset. If eligible, they can choose between pickup at their local pharmacy or free overnight delivery (if the prescription is written before 5 p.m. Monday - Friday). Learn more: www.mass.gov/COVIDtelehealth
Half of MA Counties Have “High” COVID Community Levels
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of the counties in Massachusetts now have “high” COVID community levels based on new case and hospitalization rates. The CDC recommends wearing a mask indoors in public in “high” level areas, regardless of vaccination status. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3P2Poy9.
CDC Reiterates Recommendations for Masks and Travel
On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention restated its recommendation that Americans over age 2 wear masks on planes, trains and buses, including in airports and train stations. The CDC cited the current spread of coronavirus and projections of future COVID-19 trends in its guidance. Learn more: https://n.pr/3vPmNEQ.
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.
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/
Mother’s Day Diaper and Feminine Hygiene Drive:
In honor of Mothers’ Day 2022, Many Helping Hands 365, YWCA Cambridge, and My Brother’s Keeper Cambridge are again running a collection of diapers, baby wipes, and feminine hygiene products for women and caregivers in Cambridge and nearby communities. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3LKHsQ2
Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House Job Fair
The Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House is hosting a job fair at the Cambridge City Hall on May 12th, 2022 from 12:00pm - 3:00pm. Bring an updated resume and questions. Learn more: https://margaretfullerhouse.org/news/
CCAccess Referral and Scholarship Program
CCAccess is a scholarship and referral program run by Cambridge Camping Association for summer overnight camps throughout New England. This program is not limited to only Cambridge Residents, students entering 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grades are eligible to apply. More information at https://cambridgecamping.org/ccaccess
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 on Fridays. Information as of Thursday, April 28, 2022: (most recent available)
Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 103,952
Fully Vaccinated Residents: 85,795
Residents with Booster: 53,717
Daily COVID-19 Vaccination Report
Total doses administered: 14,557,406
Total booster doses administered: 3,011,308
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: 1,638,144
New Cases: 3,836
Total Deaths: 19,198
New PCR Tests: 73,464
Total Cases: 25,683
New Cases: 203
Total Deaths: 163
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.
Kids in Crisis: Calls Grow to Help Mass. Children With Mental Health Issues
Alison King, NBC10 Boston
Cambridge Rep. Marjorie Decker says it is a public health crisis. She hears similar stories every week of hospitals that are overwhelmed, schools that lack resources and parents who are desperate. "I have filed a bill and been working on it with advocates around the state for the last four years," Decker said.
The Thrives Act would take educators, mental health and public health workers out of their individual silos and put them around the same table for a holistic approach to behavioral health. Educators would receive technical assistance and professional development. For students, age-appropriate behavioral health education would be mandated.
Learn more: t.ly/KvYG
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.