April 1 Daily Round-Up: NEC Members Contribute to COVID-19 Crisis Response

As our region and our nation continue to grapple with the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, The New England Council is using our blog as a platform to highlight some of the incredible work our members have undertaken to respond to the outbreak.  Each day, we’ll post a round-up of updates on some of the initiatives underway among Council members throughout the region.  We are also sharing these updates via our social media, and encourage our members to share with us any information on their efforts so that we can be sure to include them in these daily round-ups.

You can also check our COVID-19 Virtual Events Calendar for information on upcoming COVID-19 related programming – including Congressional town halls and webinars presented by NEC members.

Here is today’s (April 1, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in New Hampshire Enters Partnership to Increase Testing – To supplement the efforts to expand testing in New Hampshire, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in New Hampshire (BCBS) is partnering with ConvenientMD to open a COVID-19 testing site in Portsmouth, NH. The support provided by BCBS will expand testing in the state and aid efforts to identify positive cases. SeacostOnline has more.
  • UMass Holds Commencement Early to Send Doctors to Front Lines of Pandemic – On Tuesday, the University of Massachusetts held a virtual commencement for its medical school for its 135 students. As they spread out across the country for their residencies, the newly-minted doctors head to the center of the pandemic, as they pledged, over video, to “turn to our calling.” The Boston Globe
  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Launches Clinical Trial for Potential Treatment – Operating at incredible speed, Dartmouth-Hitchcock has begun two therapeutic trials of the now-famous drug remdesivir in just six days. Now one of the nearly 100 clinical sites around the world testing the drug’s efficacy on COVID-19 symptoms, Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s trials focus on both moderate and severe symptoms and remdesivir’s ability to prevent progression of the virus. Read more in the Manchester Ink Link.

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • Rockland Trust Offers Flexibility, Support for Customers Community – Joining other institutions in a joint client-community response, Rockland Trust is providing both flexibility and support for both personal and business customers. For personal banking customers, the bank is increasing ATM withdrawal limits, waiving late charges on payments, and issuing a 90-day foreclosure moratorium on residential loans.  Rockland Trust is also offering assistance with access to government-sponsored support and loan payment relief for its business users. The bank has also committed $500,000 to support relief efforts. Read more in Yahoo Finance.
  • Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to Oversee Manufacturing Emergency Response Team – Governor Charlie Baker (R-MA) of Massachusetts has chosen the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to lead the new Manufacturing Emergency Response Team (MERT), an effort by the state to utilize its manufacturing industry to produce more necessary equipment to combat the pandemic. The agency will oversee MERT and coordinate the need for supplies with the almost 200 manufacturers who have been in contact with agency. The Boston Business Journal has more. Those interested in donating to or collaborating with the Manufacturing Emergency Response Team can do so here.

 Community Response

  • Boston College High School Praised for Virtual Learning Transition – Featured in a Boston Globe article for moving “seamlessly in delivering daily, high-quality academic online lessons,” Boston College High School is continuing to provide an excellent education (that still begins at 8 AM daily) and ample resources for its students as they adjust to remote instruction. Read the article here.
  • Travelers Makes $5 Million Donation – Insurance company Travelers has donated $5 million to COVID-19 relief efforts. The largest-ever charitable donation by the company to a crisis, the money will be distributed in three parts among North America, the United Kingdom, and Ireland to aid families and communities. The Hartford Business Journal has more.
  • United Way Support Fund Distributes $378,000 to Relief Organizations –Less than two weeks since launching a fundraising effort to support those affected by the pandemic, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley announced over $378,000 in donations. Distributed to 36 community-based nonprofits across the region, the money will help those in need meet basic needs as they navigate an evolving pandemic and economic uncertainty. Read more.
  • Edesia Provides Support Worldwide to Those Most Affected by Virus – Continuing a tradition of global leadership in promoting food security, Edesia has committed to providing thousands of care packages, snack boxes, and meals to organizations and families across all ages and around the world. Aiming to assist both local and global communities, the organization has also pledged 115,000 boxes of its world-renowned, lifesaving products to children from Venezuela to Yemen to Nigeria.
  • Cooperative Credit Union Association Donates $25,000 to Support MA Coalition for the Homeless – On behalf of all Massachusetts credit unions, the Cooperative Credit Union Association has committed $25,000 to the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless. People experiencing housing, income, or food insecurity are the most vulnerable to the pandemic, as they often lack resources to adequately self-quarantine or socially distance. The donation will be used to support not only the homeless population, but also families and unaccompanied youth. Read the release here.

Stay tuned for more updates each day, and follow us on Twitter for more frequent updates on how Council members are contributing to the response to this global health crisis.

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