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In this Issue:
COVID Update
Happening in our Community
Legislative Update
Statewide Updates
Office Hours

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

With Thanksgiving almost here, we wanted to express our gratitude to you for all of your support -- and for your hard work and cooperation in helping keep our communities safe this past year.

To that end, we also want to update you on two ways to stay safe this holiday season: testing and vaccines. Many will be traveling to visit family, and will need updated COVID tests in order to board mass transportation. 

Also, since the Governor and the CDC have now authorized booster shots for all who have received their second Pfizer or Moderna shot more than six months ago, or their J&J shot more than two months ago, we have updated our list of where to receive the vaccine.  

Wishing you a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

 

COVID Update - Testing and Vaccines

Testing

The most comprehensive way to find a testing site is through the Mass.gov site at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/find-a-covid-19-test. If you have COVID symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID, you may qualify for a free test.

Local Sites:

AFC Urgent Care North Andover
129 Turnpike St. (978) 470-0800
Open 8:00am-6:00pm Monday-Sunday, **Closed 11/25**  

See their FAQ page for types of testing and fees, and book an appointment here. Due to the current surge in demand for testing, appointments are necessary.

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (Methuen) 
147 Pelham St, Methuen (978) 685-7663
Walk-up to the white tent in the parking lot. Testing is free.
Monday-Friday: 3:00-6:00 pm SEE HOLIDAY HOURS BELOW
Saturday: 9:00 am-12:00 noon

LGH Lawrence Community COVID-19 Testing Center
70 General Street, Lawrence  (978) 946-8409
Normal Hours:* Mon-Fri 8:00am - 4:30pm, Sat & Sun 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
Holiday Hours:
Tuesday 11/23: 8:00 am - 4:30pm
Wednesday 11/24: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Thursday 11/25: CLOSED
Friday 11/26: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
Saturday 11/27: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm

*Please note that the testing line may close prior to 4:30 pm during normal hours depending on the length of the line and/or weather conditions.

See more testing sites at the end of this newsletter.

 

Vaccines

Boosters are now approved for all adults who have had their second Pfizer or Moderna dose more than 6 months ago, or who have had the Johnson&Johnson vaccine more than 2 months ago. CDC allows for “mixing and matching” of different COVID-19 booster doses and recommends that residents with questions about which booster is right for them should ask their health care provider for advice.

To view more information from the CDC, visit here.

Booster appointments can be made through https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/
Or call the COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line (M-F 8:30am-6:00pm, Sat/Sun 9am-2pm) by calling 2-1-1. The Vaccine Resource Line is available in English and Spanish and has translators available in approximately 100 additional languages.

Locally, GLFHC clinics in Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill are offering COVID vaccines for anyone 5+ and also boosters. Make your appointment here: https://glfhc.org/covid-19-vaccine-signup-form/ 

I have also had success booking an appointment at Walmart.

Additional vaccine locations can be found at the end of this newsletter.

 

 

Children 5-11 are now able to receive the Pfizer Pediatric COVID-19 vaccine at 500+ locations, including pharmacies, primary care practices, regional collaboratives, local boards of health, community health centers, hospital systems, state-supported vaccination sites and mobile clinics.

How to find a Pediatric COVID-19 vaccine appointment:

  1. Parents who prefer to have their child vaccinated by their primary care provider should call their provider’s office directly.

  2. Visit the VaxFinder tool at vaxfinder.mass.gov for a full list of hundreds of available locations. Residents will be able to narrow results to search for locations that are offering the Pfizer Pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, with some appointments available now for booking. Additional appointments will be available online in the coming days. Many locations will be booking appointments out weeks in advance.

  3. For individuals who are unable to use VaxFinder, or have difficulty accessing the internet, the COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line is 2-1-1 (M-F 8:30 AM - 6 PM, Sat/Sun 9 AM – 2 PM). The COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line is available in English and Spanish and has translators available in approximately 100 additional languages.

All state supported vaccination clinics will offer low-sensory vaccinations for children with disabilities.

Visit www.mass.gov/covidvaccinekids for more information. To view more information from the CDC, please click here.

 

By the Numbers

Schools are required to report positive COVID-19 cases among students and staff members weekly here.  Between November 11 - November 17 school districts, education collaboratives, and special education schools across the State reported a total of 3,815 cases of COVID-19 among students and staff, according to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Of those, 3,257 were students and 558 were staff. Cases are on the rise in our district; positive cases were reported in Andover (16 students 3 staff), Boxford (10 students), North Andover (18 students 2 staff), and Tewksbury (19 students 1 staff).


CDC Issues Guidance for Upcoming Holidays

The CDC advises that getting vaccinated is the best way to minimize risk to all, especially those ineligible for vaccines like young children. 

If you are sick or have symptoms, get a COVID-19 test and do not host or attend a gathering. 

If you are not fully vaccinated, the CDC recommends wearing a well-fitting mask in indoor settings. Additionally, masks are recommended even for fully vaccinated people in communities with substantial to high transmission. 

If traveling, wear a mask on any mode of public transportation, and consider delaying travel if not vaccinated.

 

Masks

The Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education has extended the mask mandate for all K-12 public school students until January. Exceptions are made for students who can’t wear masks for medical or behavioral reasons, and for children under age 5. Schools that have reached an 80% threshold of vaccination among students and staff can submit a request to waive the mask requirement. 

There is an indoor mask mandate for all buildings in Boxford.  Andover has expanded the indoor mask requirement to all public buildings (this does not apply to businesses and restaurants). North Andover has an indoor mask mandate at all municipal buildings. Tewksbury’s Senior Center is requiring masks in the building.

 

Happening in our Community

 

Feaster Five - Register Now!
Team Tram will be participating in the Feaster Five Road Race this year! Although slightly different due to health and safety concerns, they will provide a wonderful Thanksgiving Day Race, celebrating Fitness, Family, Friends and Fun! The race is held on Thursday, November 25 at 8:30am; Kids’ race goes off at 7:45am. Plenty of time to get home to the turkey!

Sign up here and search for “Team Tram” to join our team!!

 

Thanksgiving Food Donations Wanted

If you’re looking to give back this Thanksgiving, please consider donating to Lazarus House at this food drive on Wednesday November 24, 1-3pm.
 

 

Health Insurance Open Enrollment is NOW

Open Enrollment is here! Now is the time to sign up for health insurance through the Massachusetts Health Connector and #GetCovered www.MAhealthconnector.org.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

I was honored to join the State Delegation, Senators Tarr & DiZoglio and Rep. Minicucci, in sponsoring the Thanksgiving dinner at the North Andover Senior Center. It was great to see folks in person enjoying a meal together and sharing thanks. Thank you to the staff and volunteers of the COA for making this happen.
 

 

Neighbors in Need

I was happy to join Rep. Christina Minicucci and the North Andover Democratic Town Committee in volunteering with Neighbors In Need, which provides food for families in need in Greater Lawrence at food pantries located in Lawrence, Andover, and Methuen. Please consider volunteering for them - you can sign up at needfood.org/help/volunteer or text Alisa, the Volunteer Coordinator, at 978-521-3357 if you are interested!

 

 Small Business Help

The Town of Andover is excited to partner with the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission and Mill Cities Community Investments on getting small businesses the help they need.  Merrimack Valley Strong is a FREE resource for small businesses. Get paired with local business advisors who can help you get the tools you need, at no cost to you.  Visit WeAreMV.com to get started.

 

Veterans Day Celebrations

On Veterans Day each year, our communities honor and celebrate the bravery of all Veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces, whether living or deceased. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Massachusetts is home to 323,253 Veterans, with over half being 65 years old or older. This Veterans Day, all of the towns in our district had ceremonies at 11am on November 11. I was honored to have breakfast with veterans at Stone Hill at Andover, then join the Veterans Day ceremony in Tewksbury. 

It is essential that we always support and honor our Veterans and their families, and I remain committed to that goal.

 

Bringing State Funding Home

This week I joined Senator Finegold and Rep. Moran to present checks from the state to the town of Andover. This funding from the state budget will offset the costs of upgrading sidewalks and pedestrian safety; refurbishing the cupola at the library; making improvements in our Senior Centers; and addressing climate resiliency and other improvements at the Eugene Lovely Memorial Field and in the Shawsheen Master Plan. Kudos to Andover’s Town Manager Andrew Flanagan, Deputy Town Manager Mike Lindstrom, COA director Jane Burns, and the Andover Select Board for being proactive in seeking out this funding. Together, we are making things happen!

 

AVIS Tour

Many thanks to AVIS (Andover Village Improvement Society) for guiding me on a tour of the Shawsheen River Reservation and filling me in on their extensive work to eliminate invasive plants including bittersweet and glossy buckthorn. With small grants from the state, AVIS has managed to protect the riverfront and keep the trails in shape. I encourage my Andover friends to get to know AVIS and find out what you can do to help preserve our beautiful natural spaces. http://avisandover.org/

 

New Business in North Andover

Congratulations to North Andover’s Tara and Jonathan Mandell for officially opening their new business, Blue Moon Estate Sales USA. My office was pleased to join State Representative Christina Minicucci, State Senator Bruce Tarr, & State Senator Diana DiZoglio’s office in presenting State House citations to the new business owners.  Thank you to North Andover Merchants Association, the Select Board, and the North Andover Director of Community and Economic Development for encouraging small businesses. If you are moving or downsizing, check out Blue Moon; they can help you!

 

There IS such a thing as a free lunch

The USDA has approved free meals for ALL students through June 30, 2022. The Andover, North Andover, and Tewksbury school districts have announced that all meals, including breakfast and lunch, will be served at no cost for the entire 2021-2022 school year. For more information, visit Andoverschoolnutrition.com, North Andover Public Schools, or Tewksbury Public Schools.  Masconomet has a free lunch option available to all enrolled students; other lunch choices are available for purchase.
 

Legislative Update

Hate Crimes Bill Hearing 
This morning, I testified in front of the Judiciary Committee on our proposed legislation to reform the hate crime statutes. I am grateful to Chairs State Representative Michael Day & Senator Jamie Eldridge and members of the committee for the opportunity. Sadly, our hate crime laws are not only far weaker than those in other states, but too poorly drafted to be easily understood or enforced. Our goal is to rework the current statutes to ensure that our hate crime laws reflect their intended purpose – to hold accountable individuals who target a person based on their membership in a protected class. These acts of hate don’t just impact the targeted victims; they terrorize entire communities. We must all work together to put a stop to hate and intolerance, and I am thrilled to partner with Senator Adam Hinds & Attorney General Maura Healey on this important issue. We look forward to working with the Committee to move this bill forward.

If you’d like to submit testimony for this bill, please contact me at Tram.Nguyen@mahouse.gov.

 

Never Again

Last week I joined my colleagues in voting in favor of H.4249, An act concerning genocide education. While most Massachusetts public schools do teach about historic instances of genocide, some do not. To paraphrase the saying, “Those who do not study history are condemned to repeat it.” We must learn from these past atrocities in order to keep them from ever happening again.

 

Supporting Community Hospitals

Independent Community Hospitals, which have been serving their communities for decades, face extinction when large providers expand into their service area and force them out of business. This week, the Massachusetts House passed H.1260, which requires Cost and Market Impact Reviews for such expansions, and updates the definition of underserved populations. Everyone should have access to local healthcare, no matter their race, ethnicity, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, geographic location, language spoken, ability, and socioeconomic status.

 

Interns

Last week we had our last team meeting with our fall State House interns Sam, Sara and Christine. We want to thank each one for the great work that they have done for our office, from drafting testimony, to creating social media posts, to attending meetings for our office.

If you know a high school or college student who is interested in a State House internship, please contact Tobin in my office at Tobin.Abraham@mahouse.gov. 

 

AAPI Political Strength

I was pleased to speak with Sue O’Connell about Asian American political power on GBH News. Always a pleasure to share the screen with my good friend, Professor Watanabe, Director of the Institute for Asian American Studies at UMass Boston. AAPIs have made historic strides in politics, but there's still more work to be done.

https://www.wgbh.org/.../asian-americans-made-historic...

 

New DEAL Ideas Challenge

I was proud to be chosen as a finalist for NewDEAL's 2021 Ideas Challenge. As we seek to heal our communities, we must protect survivors of violent crime and give them the opportunity to stand up to their abusers. Check out my idea, as well as thoughtful innovations from fellow legislators, at https://bit.ly/3CksH0T 


Probation Commission

Last week we had the last meeting of the Commission on Structural Racism in the Massachusetts Probation Service. Throughout the next few weeks, my team and my co-chair Senator Eldridge’s office will compile our report and make recommendations to strengthen the Probation Service’s purpose: to offer a constructive, rehabilitative alternative to incarceration for all probationers, regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, or gender.  ttps://www.statehousenews.com/email/a/20212105?key=11054f0

 


 

Statewide Updates

3G Phaseout
If your cell phone is an older model, it may not work when 3G Cellular networks are shut down.  Please plan ahead, and upgrade your phone to a more recent model.

See this alert on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/plan-ahead-phase-out-3g-cellular-networks-and-service

AT&T will retire 3G service in February 2022.
T-Mobile Sprint will finalize 3G shutdown on March 31, 2022.
Verizon will sunset 3G by the end of 2022.

According to the FCC, the transition will also impact many other industries and technologies. A failure to upgrade technology in advance of the shutdown may affect home and commercial security systems, monitored fire alarms, personal emergency alert devices, and vehicle SOS systems, among other advanced technologies. Visit the FCC website for more information about the 3G phase out, suggested next steps for consumers, and resources to help stay connected.

Free Training for Construction Careers

Associated Builders and Contractors of Massachusetts (ABC) through their joint venture Building Mass Careers, is offering the opportunity for free training for those who may be interested in a career in construction. This free training will be held in Woburn. The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development provided the funding for this program through its “Diversity in Construction” program. This program is a concerted effort to bring more diversity into the construction industry. Upon completion, all of these pre-apprenticeship construction credits will be transferable to a full registered apprenticeship.

 

Home Energy Help

Home energy prices are rising this winter due to global demand. The Massachusetts Attorney General's office just released information to help out customers who may be struggling to pay. Visit the Massachusetts Attorney General’s website for more information: www.mass.gov/ago/fuelassistance

If you're struggling to make payments, call your provider today to discuss flexible payment options or balance forgiveness. Be wary of electric suppliers that try to lure you in with deceptive deals.Visit the AGO website for up to date information and assistance to stay warm this winter.

Don't delay in applying for income-eligible assistance--contact your utility to apply for an income-eligible rate for a discount on your bill. You may also qualify for the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP eligibility is evaluated by your gross household income for the past four weeks. Contact your local community action agency for more details on how to apply to LIHEAP.

www.masscap.org/heatinghelpma  

www.mass.gov/hed/fuel  

Cold Relief Hotline: 800-632-8175

If you don't qualify for income-based assistance, you still may be eligible for other funds. If your household income is 60-80 percent of the state median income, you could be able to receive help from the Good Neighbor Energy Fund: www.magoodneighbor.org/assistance  

 

Office Hours

 

 

Although we miss seeing you in person, for everyone’s safety we will continue to hold virtual office hours on the first Friday of the month 10-11am, and the third Tuesday 5-6pm. Constituents won’t have to leave home to talk to me and my team; just make an appointment at https://calendly.com/teamtram/officehours and we’ll send you a Zoom link.  The next office hours are coming up on Friday, December 3 ; be sure to sign up by noon on Thursday 12/2. Looking forward to discussing the issues that are important to you!

Sincerely,

Tram T. Nguyen, Esq.
State Representative, 18th Essex District

 

 

COVID Testing/Vaccine Locations

Vaccine Locations:

Mass.gov Vaxfinder site: https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/

Opening October 26th, the Danvers Vaccination & Booster Clinic has capacity to administer 300 doses daily and can ramp up to capacity for 1,000 doses daily. The clinic will offer Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson boosters, as well as primary series doses. Appointments can be booked by visiting vaxfinder.mass.gov with walk ins also accepted. Language translation services will be available on site. Transformative Healthcare will serve as the provider for this clinic.

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC) locations in Haverhill, Methuen and Lawrence: https://glfhc.org/covid-19-vaccine-signup-form/

Lawrence General Hospital: https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/lawrencegeneral

Lowell General Hospital: https://www.lowellgeneralvaccine.com/

CVS Booking Site: https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine

Walgreens Booking site: https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19


Testing Sites

 

Pentucket Medical ExpressCare

370 Merrimack St, Lawrence, MA 01843

617-724-7000

8:00am-5:00pm Mon-Fri

8:30am-2:00pm Sat-Sun

 

AFC Urgent Care North Andover

129 Turnpike St, North Andover, MA 01845

978-470-0800

8:00am-8:00pm Monday- Sunday (walkin 2-6pm)

https://afcurgentcarenorthandover.com/telemedicine-urgent-care/ 

 

CVS - Main Street North Andover Covid-19 Testing Site

109 Main St, North Andover, MA 01845

978) 682-0941

By appointment only MinuteClinic  

 

Walgreens - Waverley Road - North Andover

800 Waverly Rd, North Andover, MA 01845

978-681-1530

By appointment only COVID-19 Testing | Select Location 

 

Lawrence Community COVID-19 Testing Center - All Drive-through and Walk-up Testing

70 General St, Lawrence, MA 01840

978-946-8409

Hours vary - Visit Website https://www.lawrencegeneral.org/about-us/covid-19-testing 

 

Circle Health Urgent Care - Tewksbury

1574 Main St, Tewksbury, MA 01876

978-323-5945

8:00am-8:00pm Mon-Sun 

Book an Appointment to Urgent Care

 

CareWell Urgent Care Tewksbury

345 Main St, Tewksbury, MA 01876

978-851-4683

8:00am-8:00pm Mon-Sun 

Tewksbury

 

CVS - Tewksbury - Main St Poct Covid - 19 Testing

1900 Main St, Tewksbury, MA 01876

978-851-6856

By appointment only MinuteClinic 

 

Walgreens - Main Street - Tewksbury

2341 Main St, Tewksbury, MA 01876

978-988-5534

By Appointment Only

 

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (Methuen site)

147 Pelham St, Methuen, MA 01844

978-685-7663

3:00pm-6:00pm Mon-Fri / 9:00am-12:00pm Sat

 

AFC Urgent Care Methuen

380 Merrimack St, Methuen, MA 01844

978-975-0700

8:00am-8:00pm Mon-Sun

 

CVS - Wilmington - Main St Poct Covid-19 Testing Site

222 Main St, Wilmington, MA 01887

978-658-3377

By appointment only MinuteClinic 

 

Middleton Family Medicine

147 S Main St, Middleton, MA 01949

978-774-2555

Hours vary - Visit Website

 

CVS - Maple Street Middleton Covid-19 Testing Site

220 Maple Street, Middleton, MA 01949

978-774-1061 

By appointment only

 

Walgreens - S Main Street - Middleton

235 S Main Street, Middleton, MA 01949

978-762-8522

By appointment only

 
 

For more information, visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#should-i-be-tested?-

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