Friday, September 16 COVID-19 & Legislative Updates

Dear all,

I write to you today 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
  • This Week’s Case Count
  • Recent Press
  • Mental Health Services and Resources
  • Where to Give

 

State Updates:

DPH Hosting Back-to-School Vaccination Clinics

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Initiative is joining with communities to host back-to-school vaccination clinics for children and families. Visit mass.gov/KidsClinic for dates and locations. If your child cannot attend a community clinic, you can request in-home vaccination (see bit.ly/3Sbvvpe for details).

 

National Updates:

CDC Recommends Updated Booster Shots for Better Protection Against Omicron

On September 1, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the use of updated (bivalent) COVID-19 booster shots for better protection against COVID-19 Omicron variants. The updated Moderna booster is authorized for people ages 18 years and older. The updated Pfizer booster is authorized for people ages 12 years and older. The CDC expects to recommend updated COVID-19 boosters for other pediatric groups in the coming weeks. Individuals are eligible to receive the new bivalent booster dose if it has been at least two months since they completed a primary vaccine series or received their most recent booster dose. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3qgfZN0 

If you’ve had a recent COVID-19 infection, you may consider delaying a booster shot by three months, according to the recommendation from CDC vaccine advisors. Learn more: https://n.pr/3RxXwHM

Cambridge Updates

Flu and COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics:

The Cambridge Public Health Department is hosting free flu and COVID-19 vaccine clinics for the Cambridge community. Seasonal flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines, including the bivalent booster, will be available. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3xpweeG

 

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 support@cic-health.com 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.

Cambridge Vaccination Data

Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 107,655

Fully Vaccinated Residents: 87,789

Residents with 1 Booster: 58,198

Residents with 2 Boosters: 13,342

Weekly DPH COVID-19 Vaccination Report

Total doses administered: 15,486,949

Total first booster doses administered: 3,226,384

Total second booster doses administered: 739,426

 

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. 

Massachusetts

Total Cases: 1,860,512

New Cases: 7,936

Total Deaths: 20,206

New PCR Tests: 125,254

Cambridge

Total Cases: 32,586

New Cases: 26

Total Deaths: 168

 

State interactive data dashboard: bit.ly/3Pe3hJk

Harvard COVID dashboard: bit.ly/3z8sa3C.

 

Recent Press

MIT workers rally for pay raise, new contract

By Anna Lamb, The Bay State Banner

 

Dozens of Massachusetts Institute of Technology custodians, carpenters, tradespeople, and their supporters rallied on the university’s campus last Wednesday, calling for a new contract in the wake of pandemic-induced economic hardship facing workers across the country.

 

Wednesday’s rally, which took place on the steps of the MIT Student Center, was also attended by state Rep. Marjorie Decker, whose district largely covers the city of Cambridge. She spoke out against the university’s attempt to mandate drug testing in order to increase wages.

 

“As somebody who grew up in poverty, and also somebody who has worked on poverty, mental health and substance use issues as a policymaker, the common denominator to ensuring that children’s mental health is actually attended to is making sure their parents are not struggling in poverty,” she said. “If you care about substance use, then you do not penalize your workforce. You do not make it something that people have to be afraid of addressing.” Read more: https://bit.ly/3BHT6sb

 

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

I would like to thank Mayor Siddiqui who continues to raise awareness for supporting the people of Pakistan who are suffering through worsening floods that are the consequences of climate change. On August 25th, the Pakistani government declared a national state of emergency due to flooding that has killed over 1,000 people since June and affected 33 million people. The damage of the floods is set to hit $10 billion, and more than 1.2 million homes have been destroyed. Residents of Sindh and Balochistan have had to move due to property damage and the endangerment of their safety. Pakistan experienced an unprecedented heat wave in March and April, and the UN has described the current floods as “the footprint of climate change.” You can learn more about how the floods are linked to climate change here: https://bbc.in/3Bts7Aw

 

You can donate to the below organizations that are working to provide relief to those who have been impacted by these floods: 

 

As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.

 

Sincerely,  

Marjorie

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