July 2 Daily Round-Up: NEC Members Contribute to COVID-19 Crisis Response  

**NOTE: After over three months of daily Round-ups of NEC member COVID-19 response, we are transitioning to provide twice-weekly updates, based upon the volume of new information available.  Please check our blog on Tuesdays and Fridays for a summary of how Council members are taking action to respond to the pandemic and its ongoing economic impact on our region.**

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.  Twice weekly, 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 Federal Agency COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses page.

Here is the July 2, 2020 roundup:

Medical Response

  • Harvard Develops Online COVID-19 Risk Assessment Tool – A new tool developed by Harvard University’s Global Health Institute, in collaboration with top scientists around the country, allows a user to view the COVID-19 infection risk in his or her county. Using data on daily new cases in a given area, the tool ranks the risk using a color coded scale with four levels, ranging from green to indicate that the virus is close to containment, to red to indicated unchecked community spread.  More from NPR.
  • MassBio Says 85 Bay State Companies Working on COVID-19 Treatments – The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council sees the state’s life sciences industry as more important than ever, with what it says are more than 85 companies working on tests, treatments and vaccines related to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.
  • UMass Memorial Surpasses 100K Telehealth VisitsUMass Memorial Health Care in Worcester, which used internet-based medical appointments rarely before the coronavirus pandemic hit, has now held more than 100,000 such telehealth visits. That news, shared in a recent memo to caregivers from the health system’s top information and virtual medicine officials, came with another announcement: UMass Memorial will be switching to Zoom for telehealth visits on a pilot basis starting July 13, using the popular video conferencing platform in a professional version integrated into Epic, UMass Memorial’s online patient health records system. Read more here.

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • WPI to Reopen to Students in August, Allow for Remote Flexibility Worcester Polytechnic Institute will reopen its campus to students in August, according to a Wednesday announcement from college president Laurie Leshin. “I am so looking forward to welcoming you back to our beautiful campus,” Leshin said in an announcement posted to the school’s website. “And as of today, that’s where we are headed.” Leshin said the decision came from a unanimous recommendation from the school’s Coronavirus Emergency Response Team and was supported by the school’s board of trustees. Read more here.
  • New Hampshire Motor Speedway Gets Green Light to Host Race Fans – With most major sports leagues having had their seasons curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NASCAR circuit will be returning to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire this summer. Governor Chris Sununu recently gave the “green light” to allow race fans at New England’s only NASCAR site with proper precautions to ensure fans maintain social distancing requirements among other health considerations.  The racing world’s attention will turn to New Hampshire for the race on August 2nd.  Read more at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway
  • DraftKings to Provide Betting Opportunity to Granite Staters for Fourth of July Event – COVID-19 may have driven the hot dog eating contest away from Coney Island this year, but it will still take place and for the first time ever, New Hampshire residents will be able to wager on the outcome. The sports betting firm DraftKings is an official partner of the Nathan’s Famous hot dog eating contest that is held each Fourth of July.  New Hampshire residents over the age of 18 may participate in picking the winner of the event as well as the amount of hot dogs consumed.  Read more at the NHPR
  • Mass. Tech Collaborative Opens Phase Two Intrapreneur Challenge – The Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and Lever announced the second round of its COVID-19 Intrapreneur Challenge, this timed aimed at identifying and mentoring Mass. companies interested in developing products or services to support Phase Two of the state’s reopening plan, the groups announced this week. The second round, which opened on Monday, will be open to submissions until Friday, July 10, with finalists selected by July 17. This challenge builds on the first challenge, which launched in early June. Read more here.
  • Currier Museum Set to Reopen in August – After closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, art and culture will once again be on display at the Currier Museum of Art on August 13th.  Museum members will have a first chance to return followed by the general public a week later.  The museum has established new “timed ticket” as well as other social distancing protocols to allow for all to enjoy.  Read more at the Currier Museum’s website.

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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