April 3 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 also check our COVID-19 Virtual Events Calendar for information on upcoming COVID-19 related programming – including Congressional town halls and webinars presented by NEC members.

Here is today’s (April 3, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • Boston Convention & Exposition Center Become Commonwealth’s First Field Hospital – Amid predictions that Massachusetts cases of COVID-19 could arrive next week, Governor Charlie Baker (R-MA) announced that the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC)—owned by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority—will become the commonwealth’s first field hospital. Officials plan for 1,000 beds total, split evenly between the city’s homeless population and overflow patients from area hospitals. WBUR has more.
  • Partners HealthCare Brings Mask Sterilizer to Massachusetts – Confronting an impending shortage of protective equipment and other personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, Partners HealthCare has entered into a partnership to bring a machine that can sterilize up to 80,000 respirator masks a day to Massachusetts. The device, described as a “game changer” for the region’s response, could reduce strain on dwindling supplies and possibly serve all hospitals in New England, according to the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association. Read more in NBC.
  • Sanofi Prepares to Produce Millions of Doses of Potential Treatment – Should a now-famous malaria drug prove effective in combatting the coronavirus, Sanofi has confirmed it has the potential to produce hundreds of millions of doses of hydroxychloroquine. In addition, the pharmaceutical company has ensured its supply chain remains stable. Read more in The Wall Street Journal.

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • Duane Morris Offers Guidance on Employment Retention Assistance – A guide to the options businesses have for assistance under the recent stimulus package provided by Duane Morris gives the business community clarity on eligibility, the scope of the package, and limitations of assistance. Read the guide in Forbes.
  • Ocean Spray Increases Wages, Donates Meals to Farmer Regions – To support its employees who continue to work despite personal safety concerns, Ocean Spray is increasing wages and providing an extra week of vacation to front-line employees. In addition to the wage increases, the company also plans to donate 100,000 meals to its farm regions across the country. Fox Business has more.
  • Dell Provides Resources for Remote Work Transition – As businesses of all types and sizes navigate an abrupt transition to remote work, Dell is offering a host of online materials to support and expedite the move. Webinars from senior executives on employee flexibility and posts highlighting the importance of cybersecurity are just some of the services Dell is offering for the business community. More can be found here.

Community Response

  • American Hospital Association Successfully Urges Administration for Direct Assistance to Hospitals – After pressure from lawmakers and healthcare organizations across the country, including a letter from the American Hospital Association (AHA), the Trump Administration is now planning to pay hospitals to treat uninsured patients with COVID-19. The letter from AHA calls for direct aid as well as the expansion of infrastructure investment assistance, among other things. The Wall Street Journal
  • Endicott College President Profiled on Leading a College Through Crisis – NEC Board Member Steven DiSalvo, president of Endicott College, was profiled in the Boston Business Journal highlighting his leadership during a pandemic that has sent his students home and grinded daily operations to a halt. DiSalvo discussed the school’s commitment to fully pay employees through June, and the potential benefits the switch to online learning could provide for its online graduate offerings. Read the profile 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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