City Thanks Members of the Cambridge COVID-19 Expert Advisory Panel

We want to thank each of you for your contributions to our COVID-19 response efforts this past year. Since the launch of our shared journey in March 2020, we have learned a great deal. Your collective input has been invaluable to our efforts, as illustrated by the current situation and the effective mitigation of COVID-19 here in Cambridge.

At the outset, we sought your expertise to make the best decisions to support our quest to protect the health and well-being of residents and guests to the City given the myriad of unknowns with this novel virus. We are so fortunate to have a highly talented pool of individuals who live, teach, and practice in your respective fields whom we could tap to provide us with deep knowledge and insights here locally. Your role as tireless volunteers has been a welcomed forum to assist us with establishing a thought-provoking and generative space on a regular basis to address and understand the impacts of the epidemic experienced across the Commonwealth.

When we invited you to participate in this exercise, we had hoped to draw from specialists in global health and epidemiology, preparedness planning, clinical medicine, and others to bring a range of expertise and experience that could inform the decisions that the City would have to make and to pivot effectively when needed. In addition, we asked you to assist the City’s leadership and the team at the health department with recommending best practices regarding mitigation strategies for reducing the spread of COVID-19 by tapping into this cadre of local expertise.

The Cambridge COVID-19 Expert Advisory Panel was convened by the City early in the pandemic to help us understand the emerging pandemic and strategies to mitigate its impact on our community. Due to COVID-19, meetings were held remotely to minimize disruptions in your respective schedules and to comply with maintaining the recommended social distancing. The panel was supported by the dedicated staff at the Cambridge Public Health Department. In particular, we would like to thank Sam Lipson, Nancy Rihan-Porter, Sammi Chung, and Anna Kaplan from the Cambridge Public Health Department, and Lee Gianetti and Dan Riviello from the City Manager’s office for serving as regular participants in these discussions where we addressed this ongoing public health emergency.

As you may know, the City of Cambridge announced that, with the Commonwealth's State of Emergency ending on June 15, 2021, and the City's significant improvements in public health metrics, Cambridge would align with the Commonwealth in lifting its remaining COVID-19 restrictions on Saturday, May 29, 2021. We will also rescind the Declaration of Public Health Emergency in Cambridge, effective June 15, 2021, due to the Commonwealth lifting the State of Emergency.

We recognize the next few months will be a transition period for our staff, residents and businesses, and universities. Our data-driven interventions were designed to get us to this point, and we are pleased to be at a turning point in this pandemic. Cambridge's 7-day moving average of cases per 100,000 residents remains at approximately 2 cases. Our percent positivity for COVID-19 tests is 0.10%. The Commonwealth's overall positivity rate is under 1%. 70% of Cambridge residents have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine, and 59% of our residents are fully vaccinated. These numbers reflect the hard work we have collectively engaged in over the past year. To that end, it feels appropriate to sunset the work of this ad hoc body, given the substantial progress made to date. We will continue to monitor the situation locally and globally to modify our response efforts as needed.

Again, we want to thank you and the members of this esteemed advisory for your tireless dedication to this effort. On behalf Cambridge residents, we thank you for serving the city by lending your expertise and time during the past 14 months. Your efforts have played a critical role in helping the City of Cambridge to successfully navigate these most unprecedented times.

View the Letter from Mayor Siddiqui, City Manager DePasquale, and Chief Public Health Officer Jacob (PDF)

View the announcement of the City of Cambridge COVID-19 Expert Advisory Panel (March 30, 2020)

Page was posted on 6/15/2021 11:58 AM
Page was last modified on 6/17/2021 3:57 PM
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