Copy

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

 

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It's the Holiday Season, and whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Festivus (“for the rest of us”), I wish you and yours the very happiest season. In that spirit, this will be the only newsletter for December; it’s full of helpful information about COVID boosters and testing, so I encourage you to save this until the next newsletter in January.

We have been celebrating in all four towns of the district, from tree lighting in Tewksbury to donating toys in North Andover:

Andover: We kicked off the holiday season with the Santa Parade hosted by the Andover Firefighters Relief Association. It was so fun to join local and state elected officials, including Sen. Barry Finegold and Rep. Frank Moran, and to see all of the talented musicians, creative floats, and of course, Santa! And congratulations to the Andover field hockey team – MIAA champions!

 Tewksbury: All is calm, all is bright. Nate, Sunny, Bruno and I had a great time at the annual Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting in Tewksbury. We are grateful to the Tewksbury Public Events and Celebrations Committee for hosting this festive tradition!



Boxford: Rep. Christina Minicucci and I checked out Boxford’s Winterfest celebration. There were many locally themed -- and sourced -- gift ideas at West Village Provisions, amazing crafts at Lincoln Hall, plus baked goods and the raffle. All topped off with free peppermint stick ice cream at Benson's Homemade Ice Cream -- thank you Tina Benson! 

 

North Andover: I joined Sen. Bruce Tarr & North Shore 104.9’s Erika Hemingway for their annual Holiday Toy Drive at Heav’nly Donuts. Also a part of the festivities were Rep. Christina Minicucci, Register of Deeds Paul Iannuccillo, Michael & Joe Bevilacqua of Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, local electeds, Cal Williams of United Way, and Tom Raiche of Merrimack Valley Central Labor Council. The best way to mark the season is to share the joy with children; you can donate new unwrapped toys at 104.9, through Community Giving Tree, or find Toys for Tots donation boxes at local businesses or fire stations.

Holiday Food Drive

Many thanks to those who donated to the #TeamTram Holiday food drive! All of these non-perishable food donations will go to the Merrimack Valley YMCA’s food bank for distribution to local families in need. If you’d like to help, drop off non-perishable food in the lobby of the Andover/North Andover YMCA, or visit here to make a monetary donation. 

 

COVID Update 

Holiday celebrations must keep in mind the alarming increase in COVID cases throughout the Commonwealth and the country. When visiting family, especially the elderly, or unvaccinated children, the best way to stay healthy and stop the spread remains to get vaccinated. 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, masks are required on any mode of public transportation.

Vaccines

As of Thursday, the FDA and the CDC have approved Pfizer boosters for teenagers 16 and up who had their second dose more than 6 months ago.

Boosters are approved for all adults 18 and up who 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. For adults, CDC allows for “mixing and matching” of different COVID-19 booster doses. To view more information from the CDC, visit here.

Booster appointments can be made through https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/. 

Or you can 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 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.Call your child’s primary care provider, or visit vaxfinder.mass.gov for a full list of hundreds of available locations.  

All state supported vaccination clinics will offer low-sensory vaccinations for children with disabilities. Visit www.mass.gov/covidvaccinekids for more information. 


Testing

On December 2, 2021 the CDC announced that international travelers, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, will be required to show a negative pre-departure COVID-19 viral test taken the day before they board their flight to the United States. The CDC continues to recommend that all travelers get a viral test 3-5 days after arrival, and that unvaccinated travelers should quarantine for 7 days after arrival. 

Below is a short local list of places you can go for testing; or a longer list, visit the Mass.gov site, Find a COVID-19 Test.  Because there is a surge in demand, check with the site first; an appointment may be required. 

Local Sites:

AFC Urgent Care North Andover
129 Turnpike St. (978) 470-0800
Open 8:00am-6:00pm Monday-Sunday.  
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 not yet posted.

*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.

Surging
As you have undoubtedly heard on the news, COVID cases are surging in Massachusetts and around the country. The number of cases is increasing to the highest level since last winter’s spike; the percentage of positive tests has also increased to over 5%, after having bottomed out below 1% over the summer. Hospitalizations are also increasing, although they remain less than half of last year’s spike.

The good news is that the death rate remains much lower than January’s spike (16 per day as opposed to 74 per day). While 16 deaths daily is still too many, this data does seem to indicate that vaccination has reduced the severity of the illness. If you’d like to explore the state’s dashboard, visit here.

Schools are required to report positive COVID-19 cases among students and staff members here. Between December 2-8, school districts, education collaboratives, and special education schools across the State reported a total of 7,984 cases of COVID-19 among students and staff, which more than doubled the last one-week reporting period (before Thanksgiving). according to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Of those, 6,879 were students and 1,105 were staff. Cases are on the rise in our district; positive cases were reported in Andover (26 students, 9 staff), Boxford (5 students, 1 staff), North Andover (25 students, 3 staff), and Tewksbury (66 students, 5 staff).

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. 

On November 23, the MIAA announced that masks will be required for winter indoor sports, including basketball, hockey, cheerleading, and more. DESE will reassess mask guidance on January 15, 2021.

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

Pearl Harbor Day

Earlier this week, I joined the State Delegation, local officials, and Andover Patriotic Holiday Committee at Andover’s National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day in commemoration of all those service members and civilians who lost their lives during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. 2,403 service members and civilians died during the attack on Pearl Harbor; another 1,178 people were injured in the attack, which permanently sank two U.S. Navy battleships (the USS Arizona and the USS Utah) and destroyed 188 aircraft. President Roosevelt declared December 7th, 1941, a “day that will live in infamy.” Following this attack the United States entered the Second World War and millions of Americans enlisted in the military. On this day, it’s important to take some time and reflect on the service and sacrifice of our World War II veterans, and resolve to continue to honor our military members and their families. Thank you to VSO Mark Comeiro for organizing this event.

 

Free Rides Coming to Merrimack Valley Transit

Last week I joined Noah Berger and Nio Mendez of the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority on the #21 bus from the Andover Senior Center. This important bus takes passengers to the Doctors’ Park, the North Andover Market Basket, the YMCA, and many stops in between. Many MVRTA riders are the most vulnerable members of our community, and they depend on public transportation for work, grocery shopping, and medical appointments. I was proud to vote to support funding for the MVRTA in the state budget, and I am thrilled that the MVRTA's advisory board voted unanimously to suspend fare collection on its regular service from March 2022 until March 2024. This will be extremely important for the poor, the elderly, those with disabilities, and other vulnerable communities who rely on the MVRTA for transportation.


North Andover Schools Planning

Glad to join Rep. Christina Minicucci at the North Andover Public Forum to learn about several projects the School Committee recently voted to recommend to the Facilities Master Planning Committee. Thank you to Supt. Gilligan & Asst Supt. Mealey for the helpful information. More info available here
 

Feaster Five 

Had a blast with #TeamTram at Feaster Five Road Race. Thank you to Merrimack Valley Striders and all organizers for putting together another terrific race!

 


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.


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

Bringing ARPA Funding Home

When the legislature passed the $4 billion American Rescue Plan Act spending bill, our delegation brought over $830,000 in funding back to our district for health and safety projects that will help our communities recover and rebound from the pandemic. I am also thrilled that we were able to secure $320,000 to address CSOs in the Merrimack River, $100,000 for Lazarus House, $100,000 for Essex County Habitat for Humanity, and $20,000 for the Merrimack Valley Prevention and Substance Abuse Project. I’m grateful to HWM Chair Aaron Michlewitz for his strong support, and to my delegation partners: Reps. Christina Minicucci, Frank Moran, and Dave Robertson, and Sens. Barry Finegold, Bruce Tarr, and Diana DiZoglio for their zealous advocacy. This funding will help our communities thrive! The bill is now on the Governor’s desk, awaiting his signature.

 

Redistricting

      

Old 2020 Map                                      New 2021 Map

Several of you have asked how our district has changed in the new redistricting. While I am thankful that our district hasn’t changed much, we did lose Precinct 6 in North Andover, and we gained half of Precinct 4 in Andover.

In Boxford, some adjustments were made on the precinct lines between precincts 1 and 3, and in Tewksbury, our precincts 3 and 3A are now precincts 3 and 7, and there has been some adjustment of the streets on the borders of those precincts.

Whether you are in my new precincts, or in the precinct I’ve lost, I am available to be of assistance in any way that I can. Do not hesitate to reach out to my office for any state-related issues. I am honored to represent Andover, Boxford, North Andover, and Tewksbury, and I will continue to advocate for each entire town, for funding and legislative issues, along with my House and Senate partners.

Boston Globe Editorial on Hate Crimes Bill 

The Boston Globe published an editorial in favor of the hate crimes reform bill that I filed with Attorney General Maura Healey and Senator Adam Hinds. This legislation will clarify our state’s overlapping hate crimes laws, making it simpler to prosecute bias crimes. We worked with many advocates to hone the bill, adding sections for restorative justice and data collection. At a time when hate crimes continue to rise, this bill will hold perpetrators accountable and protect vulnerable communities.

 

Apprentice Training Programs

It was a pleasure to join Chair Josh Cutler and the Labor and Workforce Development Committee on a site visit of the Apprentice Training Center in Millbury, which provides cutting-edge training and curriculums to 2500+ apprentices at no cost to Massachusetts taxpayers. It is jointly sponsored by the North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters and the signatory building contractors, and offers training in Commercial and Residential Carpentry, Floorcovering, Pile Driving, and Mill Cabinetry for both apprentices and journey-level throughout New England and New York State.


Probation Commission

Following the final meeting of the Commission on Structural Racism in the Massachusetts Probation Service, my team has been working with my co-chair Sen. Eldridge’s office to compile our report and make recommendations. The Probation Service offers a constructive, rehabilitative alternative to incarceration; all probationers should have access to that alternative, regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, or gender.

 

Statewide Updates

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.


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

 

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 Tuesday, December 21; be sure to sign up by noon on Monday 12/20. 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?-

Facebook
Twitter
Website
Instagram
Copyright © 2021 VoteTram, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
VoteTram
P.O. Box 216
Andover, MA 01810


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can
update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.