April 10 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 find all the Council’s information and resources related to the crisis in the special COVID-19 section of our website.  This includes our COVID-19 Virtual Events Calendar, which provides information on upcoming COVID-19 Congressional town halls and webinars presented by NEC members, as well as our newly-released Federal Agency COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses page.

Here is today’s (April 10, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • Boston Hospitals Launch Citywide Group to Manage Influx – To better coordinate the handling of incoming patients, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) are jointly leading a response group across Boston. The group streamlines the flow of patients to hospitals in the group to avoid moving staff and resources, with support from The Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association as well as a growing network of the city’s hospitals. WBUR has more.
  • MIT Contact Tracing App Adopted by Local Governments – Three local government entities plan to introduce Private Kit, an app developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers. The app allows for extensive –yet still private– “contact tracing” using users’ Bluetooth signals. Other counties and municipalities around the country are considering introducing the app in their communities in the coming weeks. Read more in Reuters.
  • Beth Israel Doctors Begin Testing Drug to Reduce Need for Ventilators – Doctors at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have launched clinical trials to test tPA to treat COVID-19 related respiratory failure, thereby reducing the demand for ventilators.  The anti-clotting drug is usually reserved for heart attack and stroke patients, but after some initial success in treating coronavirus patients, will now enter a two-phase clinical trial. Read the press release here.

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • UMaine Utilizing Virtual Programming for Prospective Students – While high school seniors are unable to visit campuses as they choose where to attend college, the University of Maine (UMaine) is offering virtual programs, such as campus tours and videoconferencing options with professors, to highlight the resources of the university. Read more in the Bangor Daily News.
  • New England Center for Children Maintains Residential Program – The New England Center for Children (NECC) in Framingham continues to operate its residential educational program for children with autism amid the pandemic. Many of the students who reside at the center cannot safely return to their homes To support these students and ensure they have adequate resources and assistance during the pandemic, NECC’s residential program—with the support of the state of Massachusetts—continues to keep their students safe while meeting their diverse needs. Read more from WBUR

Community Response

  • Massachusetts Hospitals Receive Part of $38 Million Relief DonationUMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston are among the recipients of $2.3 in aid to Massachusetts relief efforts from insurance company MAPFRE. The funds are part of a $38 million aid package donated by the Spanish insurer to aid in COVID-19 relief efforts. Several other Massachusetts hospitals will also receive a share of the funds. The Worcester Business Journal
  • New Hampshire Motor Speedway Donates Protective Equipment – The New Hampshire Motor Speedway has donated 800 units of personal protective equipment (PPE) for local healthcare workers in the state. The NASCAR track donated the items directly to the city of Loudon, NH, where the track is located. Read more from NBC Sports.
  • UnitedHealth Group Pledges $50 Million for Relief Efforts – Supporting those most directly affected by the pandemic—ranging from hard-hit states to seniors and those experiencing food insecurity—UnitedHealth Group has committed $50 million toward relief efforts. Funds will be spread across the country to alleviate financial strain on these vulnerable populations. 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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