Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I share your anxiety, frustration and anger related to the long awaited and critically needed vaccine rollout. There are issues related to supply that properly belong to the federal government, but the issues related to phases, eligibility, registration, locations, respect for individual needs at sites and messaging belongs to state government. The House of Representatives is actively engaging both the federal and state problems and seeking solutions. I join with Speaker Mariano and my colleagues in calls for more federal support, and advocating that these resources be allocated towards the following goals:
- Extended hours and weekend service at the 211 Call Center
- Mobile Vaccination sites
- Transportation for eligible participants to vaccination sites
- Accommodations for individuals with disabilities in booking and receiving vaccines
- An improved website with a simplified process to book available vaccine appointments
- Regional access to vaccination sites across the Commonwealth
- Specific focus on vaccine equity issues to improve access in our hardest hit communities and Gateway Cities
- Assistance to local boards of health to coordinate response
In terms of local boards of health, I wish to commend the extraordinary work of the Needham Board of Health and Health Department, staff and volunteers and their embrace of the first responders and residents of Dover and Medfield and communities in need.
Yours in Service,
- In Needham, the Public Health Department will be holding two vaccine clinics on Tuesday, February 16 and Thursday February 18 at the Center at the Heights (CATH). Online registration for these clinics will open at 9:00 AM on Friday, February 12. Appointments must be made online here and the clinic is named “Needham: Public Health Clinic.”
- In Dover, the Dover Spring Clean-up is currently seeking volunteers for cleaning Dover’s streets and parks by the end of April. If you are interested in volunteering, you may sign up here.
- In Medfield, the Medfield Fire Department was awarded grant funds for the Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) and Senior SAFE programs. These grants are awarded to fund programs that provide education on fire safety to school aged children and older adults.
- Two new mass vaccination sites will open in Natick and Dartmouth and will begin booking appointments on Thursday, February 18. The location at the Natick Mall will open on Monday, February 22 and the location at the Dartmouth Circuit City will open on Wednesday, February 24. For appointment booking, click here.
- Starting Today, a caregiver who is accompanying a person age 75 or older may schedule a vaccine appointment on the same day at a mass vaccination location. The caregiver must schedule their own appointment online for the day and location as the 75 or older resident and only one caregiver may accompany them. To book an appointment, click here.
- Today, 1,312 businesses received COVID-19 relief grants administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation. Businesses in Needham and Medfield were awarded funding through these grants. For more information, click here.
- As part of the FY2021 Budget, the Executive Office for Administration and Finance is publishing a website that provides expenditure information about COVID-related federal grants. To visit the website, click here.
- Applications for the Attorney General’s Healthy Summer Youth Jobs Program will provide funding to organizations to hire young people for jobs that focus on health and wellness. Grant awards will fund youth employment from July 5, 2021 through September 3, 2021. For more information, click here.
Reopening Updates – Phase 3: Vigilant
- Massachusetts is currently in Step 1 in Phase 3 of Massachusetts Reopening. This will reduce capacity for many sectors and tighten workplace restrictions. Additionally, restaurants, gyms, and offices have additional guidelines to follow. To learn more, click here.
- If you have questions, input, or comments regarding the Reopening Massachusetts plan, you can submit comments online. These comments can be used by the Administration to support efforts to methodically reopen the economy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for the form.
- If you are in need of resources, information, or support, please visit my website for a list of resources. Additionally, our local boards of health, the Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control are continuing to maintain websites with the most updated information regarding COVID-19 that you can access here:
- Needham Health Department Updates
- Medfield Updates
- Dover Updates
- Department of Public Health: Click here or Call 2-1-1.
- Reopening Massachusetts
- COVID-19 Travel Order
- Centers for Disease Control
Please remember social distancing and wearing a mask is the most effective tool to contain the spread of COVID-19.
In addition to these updates, my office is still accessible so please continue to reach out and we will get back to you.