News Briefs

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics in Everett During Feb. School Vacation Week

Free clinics are family-friendly, open to all

The City of Everett is partnering with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to provide COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Everett during School Vacation Week, February 20–26, 2022. COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Everett will be held at the Samuel Gentile Recreation Center located at 47 Elm Street at the following dates and times:

• Sunday 2/20/22 from 3pm-8pm

• Monday 2/21/22 from 3pm-8pm

• Tuesday 2/22/22 from 3pm-8pm

• Wednesday 2/23/22 from 3pm-8pm

• Thursday 2/24/22 from 3pm-8pm

• Friday 2/25/22 from 3pm-8pm

• Saturday 2/26/22 from 4pm-8pm

There will be an additional clinic held on Saturday 2/19 and Saturday 2/26 at Pope John High School in Everett.

Anyone ages 5 and older can get a COVID-19 vaccination or booster at these clinics.  Families are welcome. No appointment is needed. Vaccination is free and you do not need an ID or health insurance. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is partnering with DPH to help sponsor the event, providing funding for activities and giveaways at clinics. $25 gift cards are available while supplies last as well as a free 2 week membership to the Malden YMCA. Those who get vaccinated will be able to enter a drawing to win a $500 Visa gift car.

The COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are free, safe, and effective. They help keep people from getting very sick from COVID-19. People ages 5+ who live, work, or study in Massachusetts should get a COVID-19 vaccine. People ages 12+ should get a booster.

For more information, visit mass.gov/kidsclinic.

Keep Your Heart Healthy With Good Food Choices

Treat your heart as you would a friend. Making mindful food choices, moving your body regularly, and sleeping well are all key to maintaining a healthy relationship with your heart and avoiding heart disease. In recognition of National Heart Health Month, Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES) Nutrition Services has the following good food choice tips

· Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables every day.

· Include whole-grain, high fiber foods such as barley, bran cereals, brown rice, buckwheat, corn, oatmeal, plain popcorn, quinoa, rye, whole wheat bread, wild rice, whole grain pasta.

· Consume fish at least twice each week, especially herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, trout, or tuna.

· Choose lean meats and non-meat protein alternatives — chicken, turkey, fish, pork, lean beef, beans, nuts, egg substitutes, or egg whites.

· Select fat-free, skim or 1% milk, and low-fat cheeses and low-fat yogurt. (You can also try the new variety of non-dairy milks available, such as almond milk or rice milk, which have less saturated fat than dairy.)

· Minimize your intake of partially hydrogenated fats, such as butter or margarine.

· Minimize intake of high-sugar, high-fat pastries such as muffins, donuts, cakes, pies, cookies, candies.

· Limit beverages high in added sugars such as soda, fruit punch, and sweetened coffee and teas.

· Choose & prepare foods with little or no salt.

· If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation. Dietary guidelines suggest one drink/day for women and up to two drinks for men.

· Be attentive to your portion sizes and the balance of foods on your plate. Changes in weight can put stress on your heart.

If you are interested in learning more about MVES’ Nutrition Programs, please visit us at mves.org or call 781-324-7705.

MVES Offers Safety Tips When Walking in Snowy and Icy Conditions

  Each winter, slip and fall accidents cause serious injuries. Even when surfaces do not look especially icy or slippery, it is very possible that a thin sheet of transparent ice or “Black Ice” is covering your pathway putting you at risk. When you approach a footpath or roadway that appears to be covered with ice or snow, always use extreme caution. Many slips and falls happen in places people regard as safe and secure, typically outside their front door, on the doorstep, on the path or while getting out of the car.

With the winter weather upon us, Mystic Valley Elder Services’ (MVES) Safety Committee advises these 10 tips to make sure you are staying safe when walking around in snowy and icy conditions.

· Walk slowly and carefully. Wear boots or other slip-resistant footwear.

· Use special care when getting in and out of vehicles. Use the vehicle for support if you need to do so.

· Watch for slippery floors when you enter any building or home.

· Avoid walking with your hands in your pockets; this can reduce your ability to catch yourself if you lose your balance.

· Watch out for black ice.

· Tap your foot on potentially slick areas to see if the areas are slippery.

· Walk as flat-footed as possible in very icy areas.

· Avoid uneven surfaces if possible. Avoid steps or curbs with ice on them.

· Report any untreated surfaces to your town, property owner, or work’s maintenance department to help keep you safe.

· Remember: Ice and snow mean, “take it slow!”

If you are interested in knowing more about Mystic Valley Elder Services’ programs, please visit us or call.

House Passes Driver’s License Bill  

In an unprecedented effort to increase safety on the roads, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed legislation that will allow applicants who are unable to prove lawful presence in the United States to apply for a Massachusetts driver’s license.

Under this legislation, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) will not inquire about immigration status when processing an application for a Massachusetts driver’s license or registration, solely basing the issuance of driver’s licenses to residents who provide required documents to prove their identity, pass the corresponding driver tests, and meet all other eligibility criteria.

“I’m proud of the significant step that the House took today towards bringing all drivers under the same licensing and insurance standards, regardless of immigration status,” said House Speaker Ronald J. Mariano (D-Quincy). “In addition to increasing safety on our roads for all drivers, this legislation recognizes the essential role our immigrant neighbors play in our society and economy by ensuring that everyone has access to a driver’s license. I thank Chair Straus, Chair Michlewitz, the bill’s sponsors, and all my colleagues in the House, as well as countless supporters, immigration and labor advocates, and law enforcement officials for their tireless work to ensure its passage.”

“In line with the 16 other states that have passed laws offering standard licenses to those providing secure identification documents, this carefully crafted public safety legislation will mean that all drivers using our roads are identifiable, competent and insured,” said Representative William M. Straus (D-Mattapoisett), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation.

“I’m extremely grateful for the tireless advocacy that led to this pivotal moment. I also want to thank Speaker Mariano, Chair Michlewitz, Chair Straus, and the House for their leadership on this important issue,” said Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. “All Boston and Massachusetts adults deserve access to driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status. I support the Family Mobility Act because it will make all of us safer.”

“We cannot overstate our joy, pride and gratitude for today’s historic vote in the Massachusetts House of Representatives,” said the leaders of the organizations that co-chair the Driving Families Forward Coalition, Brazilian Worker Center Executive Director Lenita Reason and 32BJ SEIU Vice President Roxana Rivera. “We extend our deepest thanks to Speaker Mariano for his clear support in moving the bill through the legislative process, and we also thank the bill’s four lead sponsors, dozens of cosponsors and many thousands of individual supporters. Today, all of them have helped move our state toward safer roads, stronger public security, better public health, and a more robust economy, while also taking a step toward transforming the lives of immigrants and their families across the Commonwealth.”

“Immigrants without status are essential workers and card-carrying, dues-paying union members. Moreover, they are our neighbors, friends, and family and an integral part of our economy and community. With overwhelming support from law enforcement, this bill will provide greater public safety and allow workers to obtain and keep good paying jobs, all while making facets of everyday life that many of us take for granted, like getting kids to school, a reality. We commend Speaker Mariano and the entire Massachusetts House for voting to pass this important legislation that will result in safer roads for all Massachusetts residents,” said Steven A. Tolman, President, MA AFL-CIO.

“I want to thank all those legislators, law enforcement leaders, immigration advocates and public health officials who worked tirelessly to advance this bill through today’s historic vote in the House,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. “Efforts on this issue date back to my time as a state representative. Then, as now, it was clear that this bill would improve public safety and public health. While I was supportive of this concept 20 years ago, it was the rigorous identification requirements in the final version of this bill that strengthened it further and made today’s vote possible. I applaud Speaker Mariano for bringing it to the floor and the individuals who lent their stories and voices to this important cause.”

To apply for a standard driver’s license, applicants will need to provide at least two documents to prove their identity and date of birth. All documents written in a foreign language must be accompanied by a certified translation to English:

• Document #1: valid unexpired foreign passport or valid unexpired consular ID

• Document #2: valid US driver’s license, birth certificate, valid foreign national ID card, valid foreign driver’s license, ora marriage certificate or divorce decree

Residents who cannot prove lawful presence in the United States would remain ineligible for a “REAL ID” which requires documentation of U.S. citizenship or lawful status as a matter of federal law. To protect applicants’ privacy, the legislation also prohibits the RMV from disclosing any information about applicants for and holders of a standard driver’s license except as authorized by regulations promulgated by the Attorney General.

“An Act relative to work and family mobility” (H.4461) passed the House of Representatives 120-36. It now goes to the Senate for their consideration.

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