April 29 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 29, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • Boston Children’s Hospital Launches Study on COVID-19 in Pediatric Patients – To better understand why few children infected with COVID-19 become severely ill, Boston Children’s Hospital has initiated a national study of 800 infected children. The study will examine patients with varying levels of symptoms to identify what protects children from severe symptoms that older patients lack. WBUR has more.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Deploys 100 Employees to Support Boston Response Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) is re-assigning 100 of its employees to aid Boston’s response to the pandemic. Workers from BCBSMA will support the city’s contact tracing efforts and care efforts at Boston Hope field hospital. Read the press release here.
  • Massachusetts General Hospital Partners with Boston to Identify Asymptomatic Residents Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the City of Boston have partnered to launch new initiative to evaluate community exposure to COVID-19 using antibody testing and. MGH and the city will randomly select residents in the hardest-hit parts of Boston to guide future allocation of resources. Read more from WBUR

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • Assumption College Continues Developing Physician Assistant Program – Despite the pandemic suspending most plans, Assumption College is moving forward with its new physician assistant program. Leaders of the new program are hoping the outbreak can even inform the new program’s focus on care during a pandemic. The school is still planning to enroll students in January 2021 while awaiting accreditation and building clinical partnerships. Read more in MassLive.
  • Partners HealthCare Requires Rapid COVID-19 Testing on Admission in Hospitals – At all of its acute care hospitals, Partners HealthCare is requiring all admitted patients to undergo a COVID-19 test. The new regulation is designed to gather data about the spread of the virus within the provider’s facilities to inform decisions surrounding protective equipment orders and floor layouts—as well as to protect patients and staff. Read more from WBUR.

Community Response

  • Tufts Health Plan Announces $345,000 in Funding for Relief Efforts – As part of its commitment to support relief measures targeting older people, Tufts Health Plan has pledged $345,000 to organizations focusing on housing insecurity in New England. The organization is also accelerating payments to current community partners and matching employee donations, raising an additional $55,000 for the organizations. Read more.
  • Holy Cross Uses Day of Giving Funds to Support Students Affected by Pandemic – The annual day of giving at the College of the Holy Cross raised $2.47 million to support current students and staff at the school. The school community prioritized donations to causes—such as its Emergency Relief Fund to offset short-term costs for unanticipated technology, housing, and travel costs for students—that will support those at the school most significantly impacted by the pandemic. Read more 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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