Friday, September 30 COVID-19 & Legislative Updates

Dear all,

I write to you today with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources as well as recent legislative news. 

It was an honor to be invited by the White House to a meeting today to discuss mental and behavioral health issues with over a dozen state legislators from across the country. It's inspiring to share legislative successes and ideas. I’m grateful that President Biden has named tackling the mental health crisis a key pillar of his Unity Agenda.


Table of Contents

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


State Updates:

COVID-19 Particles in Local Wastewater Increasing

Levels of COVID-19 virus particles in Massachusetts Water Resource Authority wastewater have more than doubled over the past week and are the highest seen since May. Public health officials including the Boston Public Health Commission expect a corresponding rise in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in the coming days and recommend that people get vaccinated, get boosted, and wear masks indoors in public spaces to lower their risk of infection. Learn more:


National Updates:

CDC Revises Masking Guidance for Health Care Facilities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revised its infection control guidance, making mask requirements optional for health care facilities in areas where community transmission is not labeled “high” - currently only one-quarter of the country. The revised guidelines will have no immediate effect in Massachusetts, as COVID transmission remains at the highest level and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has not rescinded its own guidance requiring patients, residents, staff, vendors, and visitors to wear a mask in all health care settings. 


Cambridge Updates

Walgreens Pharmacy Issues

You may have seen some people reporting that Walgreens shut down two of its Cambridge pharmacies. I want to make sure that you have accurate information. These pharmacies were temporarily closed due to a staffing issue. Sadly, this is not unique to Walgreens or to Cambridge. We have been in communication with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which is working with Walgreens to ensure that there is greater accountability and predictability for customers in accessing the pharmacy while they try to address their staffing needs.

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. On 10/19 and 11/16, they are partnering with VaxAbilities. These events will have extra staff on hand to provide skilled support to people with disabilities and/or sensory support needs. 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. 

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, 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 or for children with sensory and/or other accommodation needs.

Cambridge Vaccination Data

Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 108,590

Fully Vaccinated Residents: 88,384

Residents with 1 Booster: 58,814

Residents with 2 Boosters: 16,080

Weekly DPH COVID-19 Vaccination Report

Total doses administered: 15,748,883

Total first booster doses administered: 3,259,184

Total second booster doses administered: 835,665


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: 1,878,6550

New Cases: 9,047

Total Deaths: 20,292

New PCR Tests: 125,275


Total Cases: 32,968

New Cases: 35

Total Deaths: 168


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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