April 13 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 13, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • Massachusetts General Hospital Studying Possible Treatment – Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) are investigating whether the gas nitric oxide can help treat—or even prevent—COVID-19 infections. The gas, widely used for patients in respiratory failure, has been known to provide additional antiviral effects. The trial at MGH is the only in the country and one of few worldwide. Read more from WBUR.
  • Google Developing Contact-Tracing Technology – Google, in partnership with Apple, is working to develop technology to alert individuals if they have come into contact with someone infected with COVID-19. The technology will use contact tracing via Bluetooth signals to determine users that may have been in contact with infected individuals. To maintain privacy, the app would not record GPS location data or personal information. BBC News has more.
  • Sanofi Donates 100 Million Doses of Potential Treatment to 50 Countries – After its drug hydroxychloroquine emerged as a potential treatment for COVID-19, drugmaker Sanofi has pledged 100 million doses of the antimalarial drug across 50 countries. In addition to increasing production capacity of the drug, Sanofi has called for coordination and stabilization along the supply chain of the drug to quadruple production should hydroxychloroquine emerge as an effective treatment. More from Reuters.
  • Boston Convention and Exhibition Center Transformed into Medical Center – The Boston Convention and Exhibition Center—owned by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA)—has been transformed into a new medical center for COVID-19 patients. The facility, renamed Boston Hope Medical Center, will provide 1,000 beds and other resources for the city’s infected, and will be managed by Partners HealthCare and Boston Health Care for the Homeless. Read more in The Boston Globe.

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • Dell Provides Early Payouts for Development Projects – To assist its research and development partners, Dell Technologies is offering cash payouts for development projects, as well as free training for services necessary to maintain operations. In addition, the tech company is providing no-interest loans and up to nine months of payment deferrals for its customers. CRN has more.
  • AT&T Technology Used to Help Disinfect HospitalsAT&T, using its Internet of Things (IoT) technology, is partnering with technology companies to destroy viruses, bacteria, and spores on surfaces in hospitals. The connectivity from AT&T allows the technology to use ultraviolet (UV) rays to disinfect surfaces and helps the technology optimize performance, lower healthcare costs, and maximize patient and worker safety in hospitals. Read more.

Community Response

  • Boston Colleges Offer Residence Halls to Exposed Workers – Supporting a wide variety of employees from facilities ranging from the Pine Street Inn and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston-area colleges are offering their residence halls and campus facilities to workers who might have been exposed to the novel coronavirus. Northeastern University, Emmanuel College, Boston University, Simmons University, and Massachusetts College of Art and Design are some of the schools offering support to workers across multiple industries to protect them. Read more from WBUR.
  • Veolia Donates 40,000 Masks to Hospitals –Environmental services company Veolia has donated 40,000 masks to hospitals across the United States and Canada, drawing from its existing stockpile. The masks will provide exposed workers with the protective equipment they need to remain safe while working. The Post Star has more.

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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