Friday, November 18 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. 

Table of Contents

  • State Updates
  • National Updates
  • COVID-19 Testing Information
  • MA Vaccination Updates
  • DPH Resources on COVID-19 and Monkeypox
  • This Week’s Case Count
  • Mental Health Services and Resources
  • Where to Give


State Updates:

Historic $130 Million Workforce Loan Repayment Program for Health Care Workers. 

The State announced a significant step in addressing the healthcare workforce shortage by contracting with the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers to implement a $130 million loan repayment program to support and retain the behavioral health and primary care workforce. Funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act and the Opioid Recovery and Remediation Trust Fund. Applications will be open in December to qualifying employees. 

Massachusetts Will Send COVID Tests to Schools Ahead of the Holidays

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will be providing four at-home COVID tests for each student and educator ahead of the holidays. Health experts expect COVID cases to rise as more people travel for what will be the third Thanksgiving season in the pandemic. Learn more:


National Updates:

Moderna Says Updated Booster Generated ‘Significantly Higher’ Neutralizing Antibodies Against BA.4/BA.5 Subvariants.

The updated Covid-19 booster generated “significantly higher” neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron BA.4/BA.5 subvariants than its earlier shot. The bivalent booster used in the United States is known as mRNA-1273.222; it contains Moderna’s original vaccine and a vaccine specifically designed against the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. Learn more:


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, or assistance is available from CIC’s Customer Service Team at or by calling 877-280-2937. 

Please note that the CIC Health COVID-19 test site at 295 Third Street will close on November 23 at noon and will remain closed November 24-26 due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Testing will resume as normal on November 27.

State COVID-19 Testing

Please visit

Home PCR Tests for Adults 

Please visit for details and to request a test kit.


MA Vaccination Updates

Vaccines and Boosters for Children

As a reminder, everyone ages 6 months or older is eligible to be vaccinated and everyone ages 5 years or older is eligible to be boosted. Children who have received a two-dose primary series of any vaccine and those who have received boosters are eligible to get the updated bivalent booster as long as two months have passed since their last 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 or for children with sensory and/or other accommodation needs.

Cambridge Vaccination Data

Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 113,976

Fully Vaccinated Residents: 90,931

Residents with 1 Booster: 61,210

Residents with 2 Boosters: 26,717

Weekly DPH COVID-19 Vaccination Report

Total doses administered: 16,853,271

Total first booster doses administered: 3,382,227

Total second booster doses administered: 1,302,457


DPH Resources on COVID-19 and Monkeypox


Monkeypox information: 


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. 


Total Cases: 1,925,311

New Cases: 4,497

Total Deaths: 20,769

New PCR Tests: 94,492


Total Cases: 33,812

New Cases: 15

Total Deaths: 175

State interactive data dashboard:

Harvard COVID dashboard:


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:

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 or by calling 877-898-3411.


Where to Give

Thanks to everyone who has generously contributed to many organizations serving vulnerable people locally, nationally, and globally. If you are able to donate, please visit for places serving those most affected by COVID-19 and for organizations that are engaging in racial justice work.

As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at




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