April 28 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 28, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • City of Boston Moves Forward with Universal Testing in Homeless Population – The City of Boston has secured enough diagnostic COVID-19 tests to conduct universal testing on people living and working in the city’s shelters. The additional 1,000 tests obtained will enable the city to move forward toward its goal of universal testing for the homeless community. More from WBUR
  • Council Members Collaborate to Launch Technology Access Framework – A new cooperative initiative established by Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Stanford University has established a set of licensing guidelines to ensure broad and equitable access to technological innovations developed by universities to combat the coronavirus. The Technology Access Framework allows the use of non-exclusive and royalty-free licenses to encourage collaboration and accelerate development of relevant technologies. NEC members Northeastern and Drexel University are also participating in the initiative. Read more.
  • Novartis Launching New Clinical Trial for Immunology Drug –Novartis has announced plans to study its immunology drug Illaris in its third coronavirus-related clinical trial to test the drug’s ability to reverse fatal immune overreactions in COVID-19 patients. The drug has previously been approved to treat several inflammatory diseases and will be tested in Europe as well as in the United States. Read more in FiercePharma.


Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • Brown University Offers Unoccupied Residence Halls to Essential Workers – With students no longer living on campus, Brown University has opened its vacant residence halls to first responders and frontline workers to allow them to safely isolate from loved ones as they are directly exposed to the virus. The university has identified more than 700 beds as available for use by these workers. Read more from ABC.
  • JetBlue to Require Face Coverings on all Flights – Airline JetBlue has announced new guidelines that will require all passengers to wear face coverings on all flights, the first major U.S. airline to take such a step for passengers. The move seeks to ensure that passengers observe best practices to contain the spread of the virus and protect vulnerable populations on their flights. CNBC has more.

Community Response

  • Bar Harbor Bank & Trust Employees Donate Over $11,000 to Local Nonprofits – Proceeds from Bar Harbor Bank & Trust’s quarterly employee-driven charitable giving program are being donated to nonprofits across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Over $11,000 have been raised through the program, and will go to organizations that will address the needs of individuals and families facing financial strain due to the pandemic. The Bangor Daily News 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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