April 17 Daily Round-Up: NEC Members Contribute to COVID-19 Crisis Response

April 17 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 17, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • Boston Hospitals Begin Using Experimental Treatment on COVID-19 Patients – Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital (Mass General) and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have begun using hydroxychloroquine, the now-famous anti-malarial drug, as a potential treatment on COVID-19 patients. Mass General is sponsoring a controlled study with the drug that plans to test patients around the country in order to assess its effectiveness beyond initial, anecdotal reports of success. The Boston Globe has more.
  • Brandeis University, Boston University Collaborate on Coronavirus Research – Researchers at Brandeis University and Boston University are working together to study how the coronavirus penetrates cells and causes infection. Labs at the two universities are working to visualize how COVID-19 affects humans at a cellular level to better understand how it operates and to measure the effectiveness of varying antibodies in combating the virus. Read more.
  • MilliporeSigma Prepares for Large-Scale Production of Potential Vaccine – MilliporeSigma, in partnership with The Jenner Institute, has announced the foundation for large-scale production of a vaccine candidate. With the potential treatment in clinical trials, the partnership will ensure that the manufacturing and distribution processes—which would normally take up to a year—can be ramped up should the vaccine prove effective. Read the press release here.

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • University of Hartford Providing Free Housing to First Responders – In an effort to support those working on the front lines of the pandemic, the University of Hartford has announced free temporary housing for 200 first responders. The school’s residence halls will be used to house the essential workers who are self-isolating while they work to combat the virus. WTNH has more.
  • Tufts Health Plan Offers Healthcare Service Information Hub – To provide its members with information on available resources during the pandemic, Tufts Health Plan has created a resource page outlining what services are available to them from the insurance provider. The page addresses a variety of concerns and questions, such as the cost of testing and treatment, availability of telehealth services, and increased access to prescriptions.

Community Response

  • Stanley Black & Decker Launches $10 Million Relief Program – Manufacturer Stanley Black & Decker has launched a charitable outreach program, providing over $10 million to support populations most heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will support emergency relief funds for employees and families impacted by the crisis, as well as nonprofit organizations around the world. The company also plans to purchase 3 million face masks and additional protective equipment for essential workers in locations where it operates. The Hartford Business Journal has more.
  • Eversource Donates $1.2 Million to United Ways Agencies in New England – Eversource is hastening its annual donation of $1.2 million in New England to s in the region. The energy company will also donate funds to Connecticut’s statewide relief fund. Read more in The Hartford Business Journal.
  • UMass Medical School Produces Hand Sanitizer for Local Hospitals – At the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Medical School, students in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences have begun producing hand sanitizer for hospitals in the area. The students have already produced almost 130 gallons in three days, and plan to make another 100 along with distributing their procedure to expedite production. Read 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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